The New Yorker Radio Hour

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Profiles, storytelling and insightful conversations, hosted by David Remnick.

Episode Date
Lucinda Williams Talks with Ariel Levy
16:07
<p><span>Despite winning </span><span>a Grammy for her song “Passionate Kisses,” which was performed by Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lucinda Williams spent many years overlooked by the music industry: she was too country for rock, too rock for country. In 1998, American music caught up to her, and her album “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road” broke through. The staff writer </span><a href="http://www.newyorker.com/contributors/ariel-levy"><span>Ariel Levy</span></a><span> sat down with Williams at the New Yorker Festival, in 2012, to talk about God, Flannery O’Connor, and the musician’s path through the industry. Williams topped it all of with a live performance.</span></p> <p> <em><span>This segment was originally broadcast on July 7, 2017.</span></em></p>
May 21, 2019
James Taylor Will Teach you Guitar
32:31
<p><span>James Taylor’s songs are so familiar that they seem to have always existed. Onstage at the New Yorker Festival, in 2010, Taylor peeled back some of his influences—the Beatles, Bach, show tunes, and Antônio Carlos Jobim—and played a few of his hits, even giving the staff writer </span><a href="http://www.newyorker.com/contributors/adam-gopnik"><span>Adam Gopnik</span></a><span> a quick lesson.</span></p> <p><em><span>This segment was originally broadcast on July 7, 2017.</span></em></p>
May 17, 2019
What the Constitution Means to the Playwright Heidi Schreck
23:07
<p><span>Few Americans dispute the centrality of the Constitution as a statement of our country’s goals; it is as though holy. But what the Constitution actually means to any two people may differ widely, and those differences are dramatized in a new play, on Broadway, called “What the Constitution Means to Me.” </span><span>It’s essentially a one-person show written and performed by Heidi Schreck (</span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/02/18/heidi-schreck-takes-the-constitution-to-broadway"><span>profiled</span></a><span> in </span><em><span>The New Yorker</span></em><span> by Michael Schulman), and it’s her first play to reach Broadway. The performer reflects on her personal history as a high-school debate champion, when she was rewarded for upholding an officially sanctioned view of American politics that she has come to realize is a distortion. Both the play and Schreck’s performance have been nominated for Tony Awards; it’s a hit, and it’s a cultural flashpoint in an era when the phrase “constitutional crisis” is invoked almost weekly. </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/Dorothy-Wickenden"><span>Dorothy Wickenden</span></a><span> spoke with Heidi Schreck. </span><span>Plus, SoundCloud rap—</span><span>once a marginal, willfully weird genre for amateurs—has lately created some of the biggest hits in hip-hop. </span></p>
May 14, 2019
Bill McKibben and Elizabeth Kolbert: Is It Too Late to Save the World?
26:06
<p><span>After years of languishing far down the list of voters’ priorities, climate change has moved to the top of many voters’ concerns, according to a new CNN poll. Now Presidential candidates are competing to establish themselves as leaders on the issue, and children are making headlines for striking from school over the issue. </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/bill-mckibben"><span>Bill McKibben</span></a><span>, whose book “</span><a href="https://www.amazon.com/End-Nature-Bill-McKibben/dp/0812976088"><span>The End of Nature</span></a><span>” brought the idea of global warming to public consciousness thirty years ago, tells </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/david-remnick"><span>David Remnick</span></a><span> that the accumulation of weather catastrophes—droughts, wildfires, floods—may have finally made an impact. “You watch as a California city literally called Paradise literally turns into hell inside half an hour,” McKibben reflects. “Once people have seen pictures like that, it’s no wonder we begin to see a real uptick in the response.” McKibben joined the </span><em><span>New Yorker</span></em><span> writer </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/elizabeth-kolbert"><span>Elizabeth Kolbert</span></a><span> in a conversation about the U.N.’s new report on biodiversity. It finds that a million species could become extinct within a few decades and that human life itself may be imperilled. Although the political tide could be turning, both worry that it is too late. “The problem with climate change is that it’s a timed test,” McKibben notes. “If you don’t solve it fast, then you don’t solve it. No one’s got a plan for refreezing the Arctic once it’s melted. . . . We’re not playing for stopping climate change. We’re playing—maybe—for being able to slow it down to the point where it doesn’t make civilizations impossible.”  </span><span>And </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/karen-russell"><span>Karen Russell</span></a><span>, whose books are inspired by her native Florida, finds a new sense of enchantment after relocating to the Oregon coast, where the big trees are like characters out of Jim Henson. </span></p>
May 10, 2019
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Comedian Pete Holmes
26:19
<p><span>Senator Kirsten Gillibrand been fierce on the issue of sexual assault and harassment, especially in the military and government; as a champion of the MeToo movement, she was among the first Democrats to call for Senator Al Franken to step down. Some in the Party, she has claimed, are still angry with her over it, and have withheld donating to her campaign. Gillibrand tells David Remnick that her experience as a female politician will be a strength if she were to face Trump in the general election. “My first two opponents were in a 2-to-1 Republican district, who demeaned me, and name-called me, and tried to dismiss me. And not only did it make my candidacy relevant, but it made it got a lot of people deeply offended, and they wanted to know who I was and why I was running.” Trump’s “Achilles heel,” she says, “is a mother with young children who’s running on issues that . . . families care about. His kryptonite is a woman who stands up for what she believes in and doesn’t back down.” </span></p> <p><span>Plus, a visit to “Interfaith Alley” at New York’s Kennedy Airport with the comedian Pete Holmes, who lost his evangelical faith but not his passion for the way religions give life meaning. </span></p>
May 03, 2019
Rhiannon Giddens, Americana’s Queen, Goes Global
23:44
<p><span>By the standards of any musician, Rhiannon Giddens has a twisting and complex path. Trained as an operatic soprano at the prestigious Oberlin Conservatory, Giddens fell almost by chance into the study of American folk music. Alongside two like-minded musicians, she formed the Carolina Chocolate Drops, in which she plays banjo and sings. The group is focussed on reviving the nearly forgotten repertoire of black Southern string bands, but the audience for acoustic music remains largely white. Giddens tells David Remnick she was heartbroken that her largest black audience was at a prison concert. “The gatekeepers of black culture are not interested in what I’m doing,” she says. “This is a complaint I’ve heard from many, many people of color who do music that’s not considered black—hip-hop, R&amp;B.” Her view of black music is more expansive: “There’s been black people singing opera and writing classical music forever.” As a solo artist, Giddens is moving increasingly far afield from African-American or American music; her new album, “There Is No Other,” recorded in Dublin in collaboration with the musician Francesco Turrisi, explores folk styles from the Middle East, Europe, and Brazil, as well as early America. She and Turrisi perform “Wayfaring Stranger,” the ancient ballad “Little Margaret,” and the tarantella “Pizzica di San Vito.” </span></p>
May 03, 2019
A New Approach to Dementia Care
19:20
<p><span>In the field of memory care, there is a fierce debate around the question of honesty. Lying can, under certain circumstances, alleviate or avert distress in patients who are suffering from memory loss. But, on principle, many providers, patients, and family members don’t like the idea of deceiving patients who are in such a vulnerable position. Some care homes have strict no-lying policies. </span></p> <p><span>But the </span><em><span>New Yorker </span></em><span>staff writer </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/larissa-macfarquhar"><span>Larissa McFarquhar</span></a><span> recently spent some time at a different kind of assisted-living facility that takes the opposite approach—The facility is one of only a few of its kind in the United States." The Lantern, in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, is home to about forty patients who suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. </span></p> <p><span>The care staff at the Lantern are taught that, in some cases, lying to patients is kinder than telling them the truth. McFarquhar talks with Andrea Paratto, who helps train the Lantern’s staff. In a previous job, at a facility where lying to patients was against the rules, she had to remind a ninety-year-old woman that her mother was long dead. “She just started crying,” she tells McFarquhar. “I stopped right then and there and said I’m never doing that again. I cannot put somebody through that ever again.”</span></p> <p><span>Some people argue that lying to patients undermines their dignity. But when it comes to patients struggling with dementia, McFarquhar says, there are other factors to consider. “Maybe something else should be the goal—I don’t know. Happiness? Autonomy? Or living your life as you want to, insofar as that’s possible.”</span></p>
Apr 30, 2019
Julián Castro Is Not Afraid
30:42
<p><span>In a crowded Democratic field, the candidate Julián Castro is eager to stand out. One way he’s tried to do that is by taking on the issue of immigration—a favorite topic of President Donald Trump, and one that’s important to his base. In a wide-ranging conversation with the </span><em><span>New Yorker </span></em><span>editor </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/david-remnick"><span>David Remnick</span></a><span>, Castro lays out his plan. And Taylor Mac, a performance artist and playwright who made a name for himself in New York City’s downtown theater scene, makes the leap to Broadway. </span></p>
Apr 26, 2019
The Green New Deal, and an Unusual Night at the Orchestra
34:01
<p><span>The Green New Deal is coming to the table during the one of the most divisive periods Washington has ever seen. Two advocates of the environmental plan—a young activist championing the cause, and a veteran of climate politics in Washington—consider what it would take to actually pass such legislation. And </span><em><span>The New Yorker’s</span></em><span> Patty Marx learns firsthand that conducting an orchestra can’t be mastered overnight. </span></p>
Apr 23, 2019
The N.R.A.’s Financial Mess
16:45
<p><span>Last March, Wayne LaPierre sent a fund-raising letter to his members—an urgent plea for money. LaPierre described an attack on the Second Amendment that is unprecedented in the history of the country. But, in reality, what is endangering the N.R.A. isn’t constitutional law; it’s destructive business relationships that have damaged the organization financially, and have put it in legal jeopardy. </span></p> <p><span>Searching through N.R.A. tax forms, charity records, contracts, and internal communications, the reporter Mike Spies </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/secrecy-self-dealing-and-greed-at-the-nra"><span>discovered</span></a><span> that “a small group of N.R.A executives, contractors, and venders have extracted hundreds of millions of dollars from the nonprofit’s budget, enriching themselves in the process.” While the organization is quick to lay blame on its political opponents, Spies says, it’s its questionable financial practices that have weakened it from the inside. </span></p> <p><span>Central to the story of the N.R.A’s financial problems is an Oklahoma-based P.R. firm called Ackerman McQueen. Ack-Mac didn’t just write press releases: for decades, it has steered the N.R.A.’s imaging on all platforms, and its executives routinely took positions within the N.R.A. In 2017, the N.R.A. paid Ackerman and affiliates almost forty-one million dollars, which totalled about twelve per cent of the N.R.A.’s total expenses that year. Ostensibly just a contractor, Ackerman influenced N.R.A. decision-making from inside, and the for-profit company seems to have used the nonprofit company as a vast source of funds to enrich itself. </span></p> <p><span>Spies interviewed Aaron Davis, who worked in the N.R.A.’s fund-raising operation for a decade. “I think there is an inherent conflict of interest,” Davis says. “And it just doesn’t seem like N.R.A. leadership is all that concerned about this.” </span> </p> <p><span>(After this interview took place, the N.R.A. sued Ackerman McQueen, claiming that the contractor had hidden important documentation from it that detailed the business relationships.) </span></p>
Apr 19, 2019
The actor Christine Baranski on “The Good Fight,” and Kurt Vile on Songwriting
30:19
<p><span>Christine Baranski was a successful theatre actor who would never stoop to do television in the old days. But when she got the pilot script for “Cybill,” and had two daughters to put through school, she took the role of Marianne, the tough-talking best friend of Cybill Shepherd’s character. “Who goes to Hollywood at forty-two and becomes an overnight star?” Baranski asks the critic Emily Nussbaum. What made her such a sensation? “No one had seen that woman on American television” before, she notes, of her character, a badass with a Martini and an attitude. “Sex and the City” came later. Playing strong women seems to come naturally to Baranski; since 2009, she’s portrayed the capable, elegant Diane Lockhart, in “The Good Wife” and then “The Good Fight.” She talked with Nussbaum in a live conversation at the 2018 New Yorker Festival. </span><span>Plus, Amanda Petrusich talks with the musician Kurt Vile, who performs his song </span><span>“Pretty Pimpin” live. </span></p>
Apr 16, 2019
Masha Gessen and Keith Gessen Debate Russian and American Politics
19:23
<p><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/masha-gessen"><span>Masha Gessen</span></a><span> and </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/keith-gessen"><span>Keith Gessen</span></a><span> have, taken together, written more than a dozen books and a thousand articles. Keith Gessen is a founder of </span><em><span>n+1</span></em><span>, an influential literary journal; Masha has written for major newspapers and journals as well as, since 2014, </span><em><span>The New Yorker</span></em><span>. Their parents emigrated from the Soviet Union in its latter days. Keith has spent most of his life in America, but Masha, who is older, returned to Russia as an adult and worked there as a reporter. In a conversation at the 2018 New Yorker Festival, the siblings discussed their different perspectives on the U.S.-Russia relationship. All through the Mueller investigation, Masha warned people not to expect a smoking gun to prove collusion between Putin and Trump, and then, somehow, this fierce critic of Putin was branded an apologist for his regime. Masha’s most recent book is “The Future Is History”; Keith’s is a novel, called “A Terrible Country.” </span></p>
Apr 12, 2019
The Neurology of Bias, and a Visit with Thundercat
28:45
<p><span>Most of us have biases and prejudices we don’t acknowledge—or aren’t even aware of. Admitting those biases is a baseline of political “wokeness.” But measuring and proving bias, and showing how it works, is another matter. Jennifer Eberhardt is a social psychologist at Stanford University who studies these issues through neuroimaging and other experiments. Bias, in her view, is not merely a learned phenomenon but one that involves neurological patterns that are “tuned” by cultural experience. And it may operate most prominently in situations where people have the least time for reflection. Eberhardt says that intervening on a policy level to reduce the consequences of bias involves slowing down decision-making in critical situations such as policing. She spoke with David Remnick about her new book, “Biased.” </span><span>Plus, Briana Younger, a music editor at </span><em><span>The New Yorker</span></em><span>, visits with the bassist and producer who helped make Kendrick Lamar’s album “To Pimp a Butterfly.” He goes by Thundercat. </span></p>
Apr 09, 2019
The Presidential Candidate Pete Buttigieg on Coming Out: “I Realized I Couldn’t Go On Like That Forever”
21:09
<p><span>During an exit interview with President Barack Obama in November, 2016, just weeks after the election, David Remnick asked who would be the leaders of the Democratic Party and the contenders to oppose Trump in 2020. Obama mentioned people like Kamala Harris, of California, and Tim Kaine, of Virginia, along with a very surprising figure: Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who was only thirty-five at the time. In recent weeks, Buttigieg has been raising his profile dramatically, and raising money at a surprising clip, considering that he lacks the national profile of a senator or a governor. In a huge field of candidates, the mayor stands out. He’s a Navy veteran, and was born and raised in South Bend, so he brings heartland credibility to his campaign. But he’s also the youngest candidate in the field, and the first openly gay person with a real shot at the nomination. Buttigieg had not yet come out when he took office and when he joined the Navy Reserves, but deployment in Afghanistan changed his perspective. “I realized I couldn’t go on like that forever. . . . Something about that really clarified my awareness of the extent to which you only get to live one life and be one person,” Buttigieg tells Remnick. “Part of it was the exposure to danger,” he notes, but there was more to it: “I began to feel a little bit humiliated about the idea that my life could come to an end and I could be a visible public official and a grown man and a homeowner and have no idea what it was like to be in love.”</span></p>
Apr 05, 2019
How OxyContin Was Sold to the Masses
32:01
<p><span>Patrick Radden Keefe has reported on the Sackler family and their control of Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin. Among the sources for his article “</span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/10/30/the-family-that-built-an-empire-of-pain"><span>Empire of Pain</span></a><span>” was a whistle-blower named Steven May, a former sales rep who joined Purdue during the heyday of OxyContin. In an interview for the New Yorker Radio Hour, May details how the company flooded the market with a powerful painkiller that it deceptively touted as being nearly as safe as Tylenol. Plus, two beloved cartoonists—Roz Chast and Liana Finck—talk shop.</span></p>
Apr 02, 2019
Has the Mueller Report Changed Anything?
17:40
<p><span>The Mueller investigation has been a two-year obsession for nearly everyone who cares about politics in America. For one side, the special counsel was a bête noire, a leader of a witch hunt; for the other, Mueller was a deus ex machina who would end the political disruptions of Trumpism. But the report received by Attorney General William Barr was highly ambivalent, neither indicting nor exonerating the President, and leaving to the A.G. to decide the crucial question of obstruction of justice. </span></p> <p><br><span>To weigh the consequences of the Mueller report, David Remnick sat down with the staff writers </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/masha-gessen"><span>Masha Gessen</span></a><span> and </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/susan-b-glasser"><span>Susan Glasser</span></a><span>. “Any other political figure of course would be glad that an investigation like this is over, and would want to move on as quickly as possible,” Glasser notes. “True to form, [Trump] is already talking about various vindictive moves, and ‘investigating the investigators.’ . . . It’s a strategy compatible with his overall approach of appealing to his supporters, and maximum divisiveness.”</span></p>
Mar 29, 2019
U.K. Edges Closer to the Cliff of a No-Deal Brexit
30:14
<p><span>Since the minute that British citizens voted, in a 2016 referendum, to leave the European Union, confusion and disorganization has consumed the U.K. Three years later, little has changed: confusion and disorganization may carry the U.K. over the cliff of a no-deal Brexit with devastating economic consequences.  </span></p> <p><span>While we can’t predict what will happen on the deadline of March 29th, we continue to learn about what brought the U.K. to this precarious position. Like the 2016 presidential election in the U.S., the campaign for Brexit employed divisive social media campaigns, mysterious sources of financing, Cambridge Analytica, and questionable meetings with Russians. At the center of it was a man named Arron Banks, an insurance magnate who is happy to take credit for his efforts to promote Brexit by whatever means necessary. Ed Caesar has </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/03/25/the-chaotic-triumph-of-arron-banks-the-bad-boy-of-brexit"><span>reported</span></a><span> on Banks’s outsized role in the referendum, and found that Banks is had been under investigation in Britain and in South Africa, where he has business interests in diamonds, as well as a person of interest in the Mueller investigation. Caesar spoke with David Remnick about the shady past and the uncertain future of Brexit. </span></p> <p><span>Plus, a visit with Roomful of Teeth, the Grammy-winning vocal octet that’s building a unique repertoire and redefining classical singing for the future.  </span></p>
Mar 26, 2019
Emilia Clarke on a Near-Death Experience Scarier than “Game of Thrones”
19:20
<p><span>Emilia Clarke was an unknown young actor when she landed the part of Daenerys, of the House of Targaryen, on a show called “Game of Thrones.” After an eventful first season—capped by her walk into a funeral pyre and rebirth as the Mother of Dragons—Clarke’s future looked bright. But after filming wrapped, Clarke faced a crisis more frightening than anything on the show: a life-threatening stroke called a subarachnoid hemorrhage. In the aftermath of an emergency surgery, she experienced verbal aphasia and was unable to say her name. “It was the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced,” she told David Remnick. “It wasn’t that I didn’t think I was going to make it, it was that I wasn’t prepared to make it.” She feared that the impairment was permanent and would end her life as an actor. “It was in that moment I asked them to just let me die.” Clarke was still recovering from the aftermath of the stroke and the surgery when she began doing a press tour—lying down between appearances and sipping from a morphine bottle, and keeping the crisis a secret. “No one knows who the hell I am,” she recalls thinking. “I was a young girl who was given a huge opportunity. I did not for any reason want to give anyone a reason to think I was anything other than capable of fulfilling the duties they had given me. And I didn’t know what the show was at that moment. All I knew was I had a job.” </span></p> <p><span>Emilia Clarke wrote about her experience for the first time in an <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/culture/personal-history/emilia-clarke-a-battle-for-my-life-brain-aneurysm-surgery-game-of-thrones">essay</a> for newyorker.com. </span></p>
Mar 22, 2019
The Hot Fashion Trends in Silicon Valley, and the Top Chef Niki Nakayama
24:19
<p><span>Silicon Valley has a reputation for being a place where young geniuses are too busy disrupting the world to buy clothes; jeans and a hoodie generally qualify as business attire. But that is changing, the </span><em><span>New Yorker</span></em><span> fashion correspondent </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/rachel-syme"><span>Rachel Syme</span></a><span> notes. Tech moguls have become more conscious of appearances, and a distinctive look—based on optimized, streamlined garments, like trendy Allbirds sneakers—is emerging. Tech moguls have become more conscious of appearances, for better or worse; Elizabeth Holmes, the disgraced founder of Theranos, raised hundreds of millions of dollars partly on the image she cultivated with a turtleneck à la Steve Jobs. Syme spoke with the professional stylist Victoria Hitchcock, who runs a thriving practice in Silicon Valley showing the powerful how to project “powerful” for the digital age—without looking like a bunch of bankers. Plus, Helen <span>Rosner talks with Niki Nakayama, one of Los Angeles’s top chefs, about setting up a kitchen that is hospitable to women, and about the impossibility of creating authentically Japanese cuisine in America.</span></span></p>
Mar 19, 2019
Getting Detained by ICE—on Purpose
25:38
<p><span>In 2012, two young activists from the National Immigrant Youth Alliance went on an undercover mission to infiltrate the Broward Transitional Center, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Florida. NIYA had been contacted by the son of a man named Claudio Rojas, who was taken from his home by immigration agents and brought to Broward. NIYA has been compared to ACT UP; its members try to force confrontations with authorities over immigration policy. The two activists, who are themselves undocumented, pretended to be newly arrived, confused immigrants who spoke little English. They got themselves arrested by somewhat perplexed Border Patrol agents. </span></p> <p><span>The story of those activists is told in a new film called “The Infiltrators,” which recently showed at the Sundance Festival and South by Southwest. It is a kind of quasi-documentary, the directors Cristina Ibarra and Alex Rivera tell David Remnick; because they were not able to film inside the ICE facility, they staged a reënactment of the events inside a decommissioned mental hospital. Rojas, who had been released from detention after staging a hunger strike, advised the production for verisimilitude. But after the movie’s release, Rojas was suddenly re-detained during a routine check-in with ICE, which he attended with his lawyer. “</span><span>For eight years I presented myself for supervision visits,” </span><span>Rojas tells </span><em><span>The New Yorker’s</span></em><span> Camila Osorio, speaking on the phone from detention. “</span><span>Why didn’t they detain me before? . . . I am completely sure that this is a reprisal against me, that they want to deport me no matter what.”</span></p> <p><span>Note: In regard to Rojas’s suspicion of retaliation on the part of ICE, a spokesman for the agency sent this statement after the story went to air: “ICE detains individuals according to federal law and makes custody decisions based upon the facts of their case. Any accusation that ICE uses retaliatory tactics is patently false.” <br></span></p>
Mar 15, 2019
American Exiles in East Africa (Part 2)
32:36
<p><span>Pete O’Neal was a street hustler and small-time pimp who gave up crime to fight oppression, founding the Kansas City chapter of the Black Panther Party. Charlotte Hill was a high-school student who gave up a college scholarship to join the Panthers and do community service. Their love affair seemed charmed. But, after O’Neal was convicted, in 1970, on a firearms charge that he considered trumped up, he jumped bail and the couple fled the United States. Since then, O’Neal has never been able to return. After spending time in Sweden and then Algeria, the couple moved to Tanzania, where President Julius Nyerere was welcoming people of the African diaspora to join in the nation-building that followed decolonization. In a village called Imbasseni, not far from Mount Kilimanjaro, Pete and Charlotte O’Neal resumed the community service that had brought them together as Panthers. They founded the United African Alliance Community Center, a combination children’s home, school, library, and Y.M.C.A.—work that they might never have been able to accomplish in their home country. As well documented as the nineteen-sixties were, the staff writer </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/jelani-cobb"><span>Jelani Cobb</span></a><span> notes, the stories of radicals forced into exile are hardly known. The producer KalaLea reports from Tanzania. (</span><em><span>Part 2 of a two-part story.)</span></em></p> <p><span>Tshidi Matale, Kiva, and L. D. Brown contributed music for this story. </span></p>
Mar 12, 2019
American Exiles in East Africa
28:02
<p><span>Pete O’Neal was a street hustler and small-time pimp who gave up crime to struggle against oppression, founding the Kansas City chapter of the Black Panther Party. Charlotte Hill was a high-school student who gave up a college scholarship to join the Panthers and do community service. Their love affair seemed like a charmed one. But the Black Panthers became targets of intimidation and disruption by the F.B.I. and other law enforcement, and a climate of paranoia set in. After Pete was convicted on a firearms charge that he considered trumped up, he jumped bail, and he and Charlotte fled the United State with false passports. Since 1970, Pete has never been able to return. Living in Africa, they began to think about how to resume the work they had commenced as Black Panthers. As well documented as the nineteen-sixties were, the staff writer </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/jelani-cobb"><span>Jelani Cobb</span></a><span> notes, the story of radicals forced into exile is hardly known. The producer KalaLea reported from Tanzania, with additional reporting by Andrea Tudhope in Kansas City. (</span><em><span>Part 1 of a two-part story.)</span></em></p> <p><span>Tshidi Matale, Kiva, and L. D. Brown contributed music for this story. </span></p>
Mar 08, 2019
Jane Mayer on the Revolving Door Between Fox News and the White House
24:39
<p><span>Donald Trump has made no secret of his great admiration for Fox News—he tweets praise of it constantly—and his disdain for other, “fake news” outlets, which he regards as “enemies of the people.” But the closeness between Fox News and the White House is unprecedented in modern times, </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/jane-mayer"><span>Jane Mayer</span></a><span> tells David Remnick. In a recent </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/03/11/the-making-of-the-fox-news-white-house"><span>article</span></a><span>, Mayer, a staff writer since 1995, analyzes a symbiotic relationship that boosts both Trump’s poll numbers and Rupert Murdoch’s bottom line. “I was trying to figure out who sets the tune that everybody plays during the course of the day,” Mayer says. “If the news on Fox is all about some kind of caravan of immigrants supposedly invading America, whose idea is that? It turns out that it is this continual feedback loop.” Mayer pays particular attention to the role of Bill Shine, the former Fox News co-president and now former White House deputy chief of staff for communications. Shine resigned days after Mayer spoke to Remnick. In his tenure in the Administration, Shine helped create a revolving door through which those who craft the Administration’s political messaging and those who broadcast it regularly trade places. She also discovered that Shine was linked to the network’s practice of intimidating employees who alleged sexually harassment at work.</span></p>
Mar 05, 2019
A Moderate Republican Wants to Primary Donald Trump in 2020
27:39
<p><span>The former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld is launching what looks like a political suicide mission. He recently announced an exploratory committee to challenge Trump in the primary. He sees a pathway to victory that runs through his neighboring state of New Hampshire, to other blue-leaning states where Republican voters might be open to a moderate candidate for the nomination. He says that some “billionaires” will back his long-shot bid, and he’s betting that the damage from investigations may end Trump’s charmed political life. Plus, Evan Osnos on the news from Washington this week, and Rachel Syme with three fashion tips for David Remnick. </span></p>
Mar 01, 2019
A Writer Solves a Mystery, and Ruth E. Carter Steps into the Spotlight
35:54
<p><span>Committed during a period filled with bombings, killings, and disappearances, the murder of Jean McConville remains one of the most infamous unsolved crimes of the Troubles. The writer </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/patrick-radden-keefe"><span>Patrick Radden Keefe</span></a><span> may have discovered who killed her. Plus, the costume designer Ruth E. Carter, best known for her work on the movie “Black Panther,” talks about her decades-long career. And </span><em><span>The New Yorker</span></em><span> presents the second year of the Brody Awards. </span></p>
Feb 22, 2019
What Are We Talking About When We Talk about Socialism?
33:36
<p><span>With the election to the House of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, following up on the surprising Presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders, socialism is on the rise, after a long decline in America. But the Harvard historian and </span><em><span>New Yorker</span></em><span> staff writer </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/jill-lepore"><span>Jill Lepore</span></a><span> says there is a great deal of ambiguity about what socialism even means. Americans have always danced around the term, and the actual policies advanced under the banner of socialism may look very similar to liberalism, or social democracy, or even the historical movement known as “good government.” Sanders declared that the hero of his brand of socialism is Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who insisted that he was not a socialist. Lepore tells David Remnick, “The way our politics works is to discredit not the idea or the policy but the label.” Plus, the actor Richard E. Grant has just been nominated for his first Oscar, for “Can You Ever Forgive Me,” after thirty-plus years in the movies. And, as an Oscar nominee, he finally got Barbra Streisand, his all-time idol, to reply to a fan letter he sent her nearly fifty years ago. </span></p>
Feb 19, 2019
Teju Cole on Blackface and Valeria Luiselli on the Border Crisis
22:24
<p><span>When depictions of Virginia politicians in blackface surfaced this month, the </span><em><span>New Yorker</span></em><span> contributor </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/teju-cole"><span>Teju Cole</span></a><span> was unsurprised. “A white man of a certain age in the U.S.,” he reflects, “is found to have done something racist in his past; well, yes.” As a photographer and photo critic, he is acutely aware that a photograph captures the thinnest sliver of time, half a second or much less. So any photograph of a man in blackface—or in any other offensive image—always indicates that “there’s a lot more where that came from.” And </span><span>Valeria Luiselli, a writer born in Mexico, struggles to depict the experiences of children arriving alone at the southern border, in circumstances unimaginably different from her own border crossings as the daughter of a diplomat. </span></p>
Feb 15, 2019
To Stop the Shooting, Lupe Cruz Gets Between the People with the Guns
14:12
<p><span>Conversations about gun reform are often galvanized by catastrophic mass shootings. But gun violence mostly unfolds as a matter of awful routine: domestic-partner homicides, suicides, and shootings between people who know each other are everyday occurrences. “A</span><span>ll this [talk of] legislation, that doesn’t mean anything for us,” Lupe Cruz says, in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago. “Most of the guns in this community are stolen. This is the real world.” </span></p> <p>A onetime gang member, Cruz mediated disputes informally for years before being recruited by an organization called Cure Violence. Their trained mediators, or “interrupters,” will show up after shootings or at funerals, and talk down the people who are likely to retaliate. Cruz now leads Cure Violence projects in Latin America and elsewhere. But she still mediates in her old neighborhood, where the stakes are very high: if her intervention doesn’t work, someone she knows may get shot—maybe right in front of her, which is what happened in November. She is getting tired and would like to “pass on the torch,” she tells the reporter Caroline Lester. But they need her in Little Village.</p>
Feb 12, 2019
Is the Tide Turning on Gun Reform?
41:32
<p><span>This week, the House held hearings on gun violence, the first in eight years. In the 2018 elections, gun-reform groups outspent the N.R.A.—which appears to be in financial trouble. After years of greatly expanded gun rights, is the tide turning on gun reform? In this special episode, David Remnick talks with Lucy McBath, who ran for Congress as a gun reformer and won in the conservative district once represented by Newt Gingrich. We’ll hear from the reporter Mike Spies, the criminal-justice professor April Zeoli, the Navy veteran Will Mackin, and the gun-violence survivor Sarah Engle. </span></p>
Feb 08, 2019
Marlon James Builds His Own Damn Universe
28:18
<p>When the cast of the film “The Hobbit” was first announced, Marlon James was dismayed—though hardly surprised—by how white it was. A long-standing complaint of black fans of fantasy is that authors can imagine dwarves and elves and orcs, but not black characters. “I got so tired of this whole question of inclusion, and the backlash against asking to be included,” James tells the staff writer Jia Tolentino, “that I said, ‘I’m going to make my own damn universe.’ ” That was one origin point of James’s “Dark Star” trilogy, which he describes as “an African ‘Game of Thrones.’ ” The first book, which is about to be published, is called “Black Leopard, Red Wolf,” and it centers on the search for a missing boy by a disparate cast of characters. Another origin point for him was the TV show “The Affair”; James borrowed the structural device of a story related by multiple characters whose perspectives don’t quite add up. James talks about writing fantasy from a Caribbean perspective, where “magical realism” may not seem so magical. Plus, a successful C.E.O. says that activist investors’ quest for one quick stock bump after another is wrecking companies and eroding American competitiveness.</p>
Feb 05, 2019
The Mueller Investigation: What We Know So Far
26:52
<p><span>Washington is abuzz with rumors that the Mueller report is coming soon, and both sides are trying to strategize their next move. The reporter Adam Davidson summarizes the broad strokes of what we know so far, and Susan B. Glasser and Jeffrey Toobin debate what impact it will have on the partisan war in Washington. </span></p>
Feb 01, 2019
John Thompson vs. American Justice
55:30
<p>When police showed up to question John Thompson, he was worried that it was because he had sold drugs to an undercover cop.  When he realized they were investigating a murder, he could only laugh: “Shit, for real? Murder?”<br><br>Thompson was insistent on his innocence, but New Orleans prosecutors wanted a conviction for a high-profile murder, and they were not scrupulous about how they got it. Thompson quickly found himself on death row. Eighteen years later, just weeks before Thompson was due to be executed, his lawyers discovered that a prosecutor had hidden exculpatory evidence from the defense. Thompson had been set up. This was a violation of the Brady Rule, established by the Supreme Court, in 1963, to ensure fair trials. Ultimately, he was exonerated of both crimes, but his attempts to get a settlement from the district attorney’s office—compensation for his time in prison—were thwarted. Though an appeals court had upheld a fourteen-million-dollar settlement, the Supreme Court reversed the decision, declining to punish the D.A. for violating the Court's own ruling.</p> <p>Thompson’s case revealed fundamental imbalances that undermine the very notion of a fair trial.  Under the Brady Rule, prosecutors must share with the defense any evidence that could be favorable to the defendant.  But there is essentially no practical enforcement of this rule. In most states, prosecutors are the ones who hold the evidence and choose what to share, and disclosing exculpatory evidence makes their cases harder to win. We have absolutely no idea how many criminal trials are flawed by these violations.<br><br>The staff writer<span> </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/andrew-marantz">Andrew Marantz</a>, his wife, Sarah Lustbader, of the Fair Punishment Project, and the producer Katherine Wells reported on John Thompson’s story and its implications. They spoke with the late John Thompson (who died in 2017), with his lawyers, and with Harry Connick, Sr., the retired New Orleans D.A. who, despite having tried very hard to have Thompson killed, remains unrepentant.</p> <p>This episode contains explicit language and may not be suitable for children.</p>
Jan 29, 2019
Jason Rezaian on Imprisonment in Iran
45:12
<p><span>Jason Rezaian was born in California to </span><span>an Iranian father and an American mother</span><span>. After a failed effort to enter the Persian rug trade, he moved to Tehran to be a reporter, and was working for the Washington </span><em><span>Post</span></em><span> when he was arrested by Iranian authorities.  Rezaian was held at the notorious Evin Prison, and was interrogated for more than five hundred days. He was a pawn in an intrigue within the government: he believes his arrest, as an American journalist, was an attempt by hard-liners to interfere with the ongoing nuclear negotiations between Iran </span>and other countries. Rezaian’s memoir of that time is called “Prisoner: My 544 Days in an Iranian Prison—Solitary Confinement, a Sham Trial, High-Stakes Diplomacy, and the Extraordinary Efforts It Took to Get Me Out.” He spoke with David Remnick about his experiences on January 22, 2019, at “Live from NYPL ,” the New York Public Library’s premier conversation series.</p> <p> </p>
Jan 25, 2019
The Fall of a Chinese Pop Star, and Calvin Trillin’s Happy Marriage
40:33
<p><span>For some years, Denise Ho was one of the most popular singers in Asia. A Hong Kong native, she performed the style known as Cantopop in mainland China and in foreign countries with Chinese émigré populations. But, as Ho told the staff writer </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/jiayang-fan"><span>Jiayang Fan</span></a><span>, she began to have qualms about the often-saccharine content of the genre. “Is that all? Is that all I can do with my songs, my career—just for personal wealth, and all that?” She was one of the first stars in China to come out as a lesbian, which the government took in stride; but, when she took part in political demonstrations in Hong Kong, she was arrested on television and detained. Authorities began to cancel her concerts, and to block access to her work on the Internet in China. Her endorsements followed suit. “I expected to be banned from China, but I wasn’t expecting the government to react to it in such a way,” she says. “The main goal is to silence everyone—especially the younger generations—with fear.” Now Denise Ho is trying to rebuild her career as something unfamiliar in China: an underground protest singer. Plus: Kai-Fu Lee on China’s tech sector and the challenge it poses to Silicon Valley; and the longtime staff writer Calvin Trillin, who puts his happy marriage onstage in a new play, “About Alice.” “This play certainly would have failed Drama 101 . . . But you have to write about what you know.” </span></p>
Jan 22, 2019
The Producer dream hampton Talks with Jelani Cobb about “Surviving R. Kelly”
15:21
<p><span>For decades, it’s been an open secret that R. Kelly has allegedly kept young women trapped in abusive relationships through psychological manipulation, fear, and intimidation. His domestic situation has been compared to a sex cult. He was acquitted of child-pornography charges even though a video that appears to show him with a fourteen-year-old girl was circulated around the country. It was described only as the “R. Kelly sex tape.” Why has it taken so long for the reckonings of the #MeToo movement to catch up to him? Lifetime just aired “Surviving R. Kelly,” a six-part documentary by the producer dream hampton that airs the full breadth of the accusations against Kelly. (He continues to deny all charges of illegal behavior.) One young woman featured in the documentary left a relationship with Kelly, whom she met when she was a teen-age supporter outside the Chicago courtroom where he was being tried. “He was cruising eleventh graders on that trial,” hampton tells the </span><em><span>New Yorker</span></em><span> staff writer </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/jelani-cobb"><span>Jelani Cobb</span></a><span>. “I mean, the hubris!” </span></p> <p><span>Cobb and hampton discuss the complicated dynamics of accusing R. Kelly. “It’s a deep shame black women have, handing over black men to this system we know to be unjust and that targets them,” she says. “At the same time, black women are black people, and we too are targeted . . . . Most sexual-violence survivors don’t find justice in this system, regardless of race.”</span></p> <p><span><em>Update: After our program went to air, RCA Records dropped R. Kelly from its roster. </em></span></p>
Jan 18, 2019
For a French Burglar, Stealing Masterpieces Is Easier Than Selling Them
20:13
<p><span>Vjeran Tomic has been stealing since he was a small child, when he used a ladder to break into a library in his home town, in Bosnia. After moving to Paris, he graduated to lucrative apartment burglaries, living off the jewels he took and often doing time in prison. He became known in the French press as Spider-Man, and he began to steal art. Tomic has a grand sense of his calling as a burglar; he considers it his destiny and has described his robberies as acts of imagination. He eventually carried a truly epic heist: a break-in at the Musée d’Art Moderne, in Paris, in which he left with seventy million dollars’ worth of paintings. But selling these masterpieces proved harder than stealing them, and that’s where Spider-Man’s troubles began. The contributor </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/jake-halpern"><span>Jake Halpern</span></a><span> tells Vjeran Tomic’s story; excerpts from Tomic’s letters from prison are read by the actor Jean Brassard.  </span></p>
Jan 15, 2019
How “The Apprentice” Made Donald Trump, and a Boondoggle in Wisconsin
35:09
<p><span>The staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe has reported on </span><span>“The Apprentice” and its impact on Donald Trump—on how America saw Trump, and how Trump saw himself. Keefe spoke with </span><span>Jonathon Braun, who was a supervising producer on “The Apprentice,” about how the show’s team reshaped Trump’s image, and how the news media are doing that same work for him now that he is President. Dan Kaufman, the author of “</span><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Fall-Wisconsin-Conservative-Conquest-Progressive-dp-0393357252/dp/0393357252/"><span>The Fall of Wisconsin</span></a><span>,” explains how a deal to bring manufacturing jobs to an industrial town in Wisconsin became a boondoggle of national proportions. And Terrance Hayes, the author of </span><span>“</span><a href="https://www.amazon.com/American-Sonnets-Future-Assassin-Penguin/dp/0143133187"><span>American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin</span></a><span>,” reads a poem for the New Year.  </span></p>
Jan 11, 2019
The Director Boots Riley on “Sorry to Bother You”
18:14
<p><span>Boots Riley’s directorial début, “Sorry to Bother You,” blends a dark strain of comedy with a sci-fi vision of capitalism run amok. The film’s hero, Cassius Green, is a telemarketer who rises quickly in the ranks—eventually becoming a “power caller”—after he learns to use a “white voice” on the phone, mimicking the way white people are supposed to speak. As sharp as the film is on issues of race and identity, “Sorry to Bother You” ultimately takes capitalism, and the way it exploits labor, as its target. “There were a lot of things about capitalism that were forgiven by big media companies while Obama was in office,” Riley tells </span><em><span>The New Yorker’s</span></em><span> Doreen St. Félix in a live interview at the New Yorker Festival. “Things that we had said we were against under Bush.” “Sorry to Bother You” is, in part, a response to that loss of focus. Riley, who is forty-seven, got his start as a rapper; for many years, he led the political hip-hop band the Coup. He traces his interest in art as activism to an incident from 1989, when police officers in San Francisco beat two children and their mother in front of a housing project. Neighbors began protesting, spilling out onto the street and chanting lyrics from Public Enemy's “Fight the Power.” “It made me see what place music could have,” Riley tells St. Félix. “I knew, This is what I had to do.” </span></p>
Jan 08, 2019
Live: Janet Mock and Chris Hayes
37:33
<p><span>Janet Mock first heard the word “</span><em><span>māhū</span></em><span>,” a Native Hawaiian word for people who exist outside the male-female binary, when she was twelve. She had just moved back to Oahu, where she was born, from Texas, and, by that point, Mock knew that the gender she presented as didn’t feel right. “I don’t like to say the word ‘trapped,’ ” Mock tells </span><em><span>The New Yorker’s</span></em><span> Hilton Als. “But I was feeling very, very tightly contained in my body.” Since coming out as transgender publicly, Mock has emerged as a leading advocate for trans people; she is the author of a best-selling memoir and the first trans woman of color to be hired as a writer for a TV series, Ryan Murphy’s FX series “Pose.” Plus: MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, the youngest prime-time host for a major cable-news channel, on the psychic toll of covering the news in Donald Trump’s America.  </span></p>
Jan 04, 2019
Philip Roth’s American Portraits and American Prophecy
55:39
<p><span>The novelist and short-story writer Philip Roth died in May at the age of eighty-five. In novels like “Portnoy’s Complaint,” “The Human Stain,” and “American Pastoral,” Roth anatomized postwar American life—particularly the lives of Jewish people in the Northeast. And in works like “The Ghost Writer” and “The Plot Against America,” he speculated on how the shadow of authoritarianism might fall over the United States. The breadth and depth of Roth’s work kept him a vital literary figure throughout the second half of the twentieth century, and established him among the most respected writers of fiction in American history. David Remnick speaks with Roth’s official biographer, Blake Bailey, about Roth’s life and career. Judith Thurman, Claudia Roth Pierpont, and Lisa Halliday discuss the portrayals of women in Roth’s work and the accusations of misogyny that he has faced. And, finally, we hear an interview with the author, from 2003, when he sat down with David Remnick for the BBC. Plus: the actor Liev Schreiber reads excerpts from Roth’s fiction.</span></p> <p> </p> <p><em><span>This episode originally aired on July 20, 2018.</span></em></p>
Dec 28, 2018
Christmas Music Reimagined with Kirk Douglas, the Guitarist for the Roots
<p><span>Kirk Douglas, the guitarist for the Roots, plays anything and everything as part of the “Tonight Show” band, so David Remnick put him to the test on some holiday classics.  Roz Chast rings a bell to collect pennies for a good cause: saving the globe from destruction by asteroid. And a religion scholar who just translated the New Testament from the original Greek explains why we’ve been getting the book wrong all these years.   </span></p>
Dec 23, 2018
2018 in Pop Culture
15:27
<p><span>The </span><em><span>New Yorker </span></em><span>staff writers </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/jia-tolentino"><span>Jia Tolentino</span></a><span>, </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/doreen-st-felix"><span>Doreen St. Félix</span></a><span>, and </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/alexandra-schwartz"><span>Alexandra Schwartz</span></a><span> all cover the culture beat from different angles. They talk with David Remnick about the emblematic pop-culture phenomena of 2018 that tell us where we were this year: how “Queer Eye” tried to fix masculinity, and how that spoke to women in the #MeToo era; whether “Black Panther” and “Crazy Rich Asians” will mark a turning point in the representation of nonwhite people in film; and how, as Tolentino says, “A Star Is Born” was r“arguably the only event of the year that brought America together.” </span></p>
Dec 21, 2018
Kelly Slater’s Perfect Wave Brings Surfing to a Crossroads
23:34
<p>In December of 2015, a video appeared on the Internet that stunned surfers worldwide. Titled “Kelly’s Wave,” it showed Kelly Slater—arguably the best pro surfer in history—unveiling a secret project he had been working on for more than a decade. With the help of engineers and designers, Slater had perfected the first artificial wave, created by machine in a pool, that could rival the best waves found in the ocean. “One could spend years and years surfing in the ocean,” notes staff writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/william-finnegan">William Finnegan</a>, himself a lifelong surfer, “and never get a wave as good as what some people are getting here today. Ever.”</p> <p> </p> <p>Finnegan went to visit the Kelly Slater Wave Company’s Surf Ranch—a facility in California’s Central Valley, far from the coast—to observe a competition and test the wave for himself. Up until now, surfing was defined by its lack of predictability: chasing waves around the world and dealing with disappointment when they do not appear has been integral to the life of a surfer. But with a mechanically produced, infinitely repeatable, world-class wave, surfing can become like any other sport. The professional World Surf League, which has bought a controlling interest in Slater’s company, sees a bright future.</p> <p>But Finnegan wonders what it means to take surfing out of nature. Will kids master riding artificial waves without even learning to swim in the ocean? Finnegan spoke with Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore (the Australian seven-time world champion), and Matt Warshaw (the closest thing surfing has to an official historian). Warshaw, like Finnegan, is skeptical about the advent of mechanical waves. Yet he admits that, when he had the chance to ride it, he didn’t ever want to stop. “It reminded me of 1986,” Warshaw recalls. “The drugs have run out, you already hate yourself—how do we get more?”</p> <p>William Finnegan’s article “<a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/12/17/kelly-slaters-shock-wave">Kelly Slater’s Shock Wave</a>” appeared this month in <em>The New Yorker.</em></p>
Dec 18, 2018
Aaron Sorkin Rewrites “To Kill a Mockingbird”
32:28
<p>As he set about adapting “To Kill a Mockingbird” for the stage—the play opened this week on Broadway—Aaron Sorkin first wrote a version that he says was very much like the novel, but “with stage directions.” As he delved into the character of Atticus Finch, though, he found himself troubled. The small-town lawyer is tolerant, but too tolerant, tolerant of everything, including the violent racism of many of his neighbors—which he attempts to understand rather than condemn. And Sorkin felt that Lee’s two black characters, the maid Calpurnia and the falsely accused Tom Robinson, had no real voice in the book. “I imagine that, in 1960, using African-American characters as atmosphere is the kind of thing that would go unnoticed by white people,” he tells David Remnick. “In 2018, it doesn’t go unnoticed, and it’s wrong, and it’s also a wasted opportunity.”  </p> <p>Sorkin’s changes in his adaptation led to a lawsuit from Harper Lee’s literary executor, who had approved him as the playwright but placed specific conditions on the faithfulness of his script. In Sorkin’s view, the criticisms of the executor, Tonja Carter, were tantamount to racism. He thinks they reinforced the lack of voice and agency of black people in the South in the nineteen-thirties. (Carter declined to comment on Sorkin’s remarks.) The two sides eventually reached a settlement, in May, and the play proceeded to production. Sorkin says that, of his own volition, he cut some of his lines that hinted too broadly at the political realities of America under Donald Trump. But Atticus Finch’s realization—that the people in his community whom he thought he knew best, he never really knew at all—mirrors the experience of many Americans since 2016.</p> <p>Plus, a Minnesota senator on running as a Democrat in the age of Trump.  </p>
Dec 14, 2018
Robyn Talks with David Remnick
33:44
<p><span>For the past twenty-five years, since she was a young teen-ager, the singer Robyn has been on the cutting edge of pop music. Her sound is sparse and complex, influenced by electro and dance music while preserving the catchiness of pop. After a brief stint with Max Martin early in her career, Robyn has avoided the big hit-making producers who put their stamp on an artist. Instead she’s produced, written, and performed all her own work, becoming a kind of oxymoron: an indie pop star.  </span></p> <p><span><br><span>“Body Talk,” Robyn’s previous album, came out in 2010, and, for many of the years that followed, Robyn has been out of the public eye. Following a breakup and a close friend’s death, she slipped into a depression serious enough that she had trouble getting out of bed and leaving her house. She eventually started recording again and recently released an album called “Honey.” (</span><em><span>The New Yorker’s</span></em> <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/honey-reviewed-robyn-has-returned-and-she-has-what-you-want"><span>Jia Tolentino wrote</span></a><span>,“the </span><span>force of her conviction continues to hold together what often seems impossible, musically or otherwise: maximum sadness, felt as the bedrock of absolute joy.”) Robyn, who lives in her native Sweden, spoke with David Remnick about the many years of difficulties that went into making “Honey.”</span></span></p> <p><span>Plus, the pop-music critic Amanda Petrusich picks three favorites for 2018, and the fight director B. H. Barry gives a lesson in brutal mayhem with music.</span></p>
Dec 07, 2018
Helen Rosner Ferments at Home, Plus Dexter Filkins on Saudi Arabia
24:20
<p><span>One of the hot trends in the food world is one of the oldest: fermentation. No longer just for beer and sauerkraut, fermentation—which </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/helen-rosner"><span>Helen Rosner</span></a><span> calls “bacteria engaging with your food”—is the subject of cookbooks, and the specialty of destination restaurants like Noma, in Copenhagen, which has been called the world’s best restaurant for several years. René Redzepi, the chef at Noma, and David Zilber, the director of its fermentation lab, visited Rosner’s home kitchen to give her a lesson. A couple of weeks later, after the microbes had done their work, she brought some highly unusual fermented snacks to share with David Remnick. </span><span>Plus, Dexter Filkins traces the rise to power of the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. Long before the international furor over the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi—back when bin Salman was still being hailed as a reformer—Filkins says that he eliminated political opponents, cracked down on the press, extorted other wealthy royals, and arrested human-rights activists.</span></p>
Dec 04, 2018
Voter Suppression in the Twenty-First Century
31:12
<p><span>In the November midterm elections, Stacey Abrams, a gubernatorial candidate in Georgia, arrived at her polling place to cast a vote for herself, only to have a poll worker claim that she had already filed for an absentee ballot. Carol Anderson’s book “One Person, No Vote” explores how measures designed to purge voters rolls or limit voting have targeted Democratic and particularly minority voters. Anderson sees voter-identification laws and a wide range of bureaucratic snafus as successors to the more blatantly racist measures that existed before the Voting Rights Act; she describes the resurgence of voter suppression as an expression of white rage. “It is not what we think of in terms of Charlottesville and the tiki torches,” she tells David Remnick. “It's the kind of methodical, systematic, bureaucratic power that undermines African-Americans’ advances." White Americans, she says, see themselves as trapped in a kind of “zero sum” situation, in which all advances for people of color must come at whites’ expense. </span><span>Plus, the staff writer</span><a href="http://www.newyorker.com/contributors/jon-lee-anderson"><span><span> </span>Jon Lee Anderson</span></a><span><span> </span>journeys up the Madre de Dios River in the Peruvian Amazon to observe as the Mashco Piro—one of the few remaining uncontacted indigenous tribes—begin a fraught, possibly fatal engagement with the outside world.</span></p>
Nov 30, 2018
Bridget Everett Talks with Michael Schulman
21:10
<p><span>Appearing at the New Yorker Festival, in conversation with </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/michael-schulman"><span>Michael Schulman</span></a><span> , Bridget Everett brought her dog onstage. It was unconventional, but no more so than anything else she does. Vulgar, badly behaved, and entirely comfortable with herself, Everett’s persona as a cabaret performer whips audiences into a frenzy at the legendary Joe’s Pub, in New York. That cult following led to parts on the television shows “Inside Amy Schumer”, “Lady Dynamite,” and “Girls,” and in the movie “Trainwreck.” But Everett found a new depth in last year’s “Patti Cake$,” as the barfly mother of the movie’s title character, who is a young, overweight white woman aspiring to be a rapper. Everett’s character, Barb, is a failed singer who mocks her daughter’s musical career. “I get the urge to want to tear somebody down even when you love them, because you don’t want them to slip away, or you don’t want them to have something you never had,” she said. “If I was still in Kansas and I wasn’t singing, and I wasn’t doing what I want to do, that’s exactly who I would be. And I would be that drunk and I would be at that bar, hopefully not with those nails, but I would be that person.” </span></p> <p><span>*</span><em><span>This episode contains explicit language.</span></em></p>
Nov 27, 2018
Jim Carrey Doesn’t Exist (According to Jim Carrey)
36:19
<p><span>As a young boy, Jim Carrey got in trouble for staring in the mirror. He didn’t do it because he was vain; he was practicing the comic skills that made him one of the great impressionists of our time, a man whose face seems to be made of some pliable alien material. Yet that malleable face is as capable of portraying deep and complex emotion as it is of making us laugh. As a result, Carrey’s career has been one reinvention after another. These days, he’s been lighting up Twitter as a political cartoonist—his way of drawing Donald Trump is particularly grotesque—and starring in the television series “Kidding.” He plays a children’s entertainer, in the mold of Mr. Rogers, who is struggling with the death of his own son. Carrey sat down with </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/colin-stokes"><span>Colin Stokes</span></a><span> at the New Yorker Festival in October, 2018. He spoke about his reverence for Fred Rogers and the inspiration he takes from Eastern philosophy. “I don’t exist,” Carrey says. “There’s no separation between you and me at all . . . I know I’m sounding really crazy right now, but it’s really true.” </span></p>
Nov 23, 2018
The Star Witnesses Against El Chapo
23:05
<p><span>Last year, the Mexican government finally agreed to extradite the notorious drug kingpin El Chapo to the U.S. Born Joaquín Guzmán Loera, he was once ranked by </span><em><span>Forbes</span></em><span> as one of the most powerful people in the world. His trial began in New York, on November 5th, and Guzmán faces seventeen counts related to drugs and firearms; prosecutors have said that they will also tie him to more than thirty murders. The government’s star witnesses against the notoriously elusive drug lord are identical twins from Chicago, Pedro and Margarito Flores. While still in their twenties, the Flores brothers became major drug traffickers, importing enormous quantities of drugs from the Sinaloa cartel. They avoided violence and feuds with rivals, but eventually got caught in the middle of a cartel war. It was a dangerous position, and the only way out was to seek government protection. The Flores brothers flipped; they began working secretly for prosecutors—recording their business calls with Guzmán and others—in exchange for leniency in their own trials. Tom Shakeshaft, the former Assistant U.S. Attorney who flipped them, tells </span><em><span>The New Yorker</span></em><span>’s Patrick Radden Keefe how it all went down.</span></p>
Nov 20, 2018
The Countdown to Brexit, Plus Adam Gopnik’s Turkey Zen
32:23
<p><span>More than two years after British voters approved a measure to withdraw their nation from the European Union—a gigantic undertaking with no roadmap of any sort —Prime Minister Theresa May unveiled a plan: essentially, that the U.K. would remain in the European customs union, participating in trade with the E.U. and remaining subject to its trade policies, but exit the political process of the E.U. The deal was seen by some as the worst of both worlds, and several cabinet ministers resigned; May could well lose a no-confidence vote in the immediate future. David Remnick talks with the London-based staff writers </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/sam-knight"><span>Sam Knight</span></a><span> and </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/rebecca-mead"><span>Rebecca Mead</span></a><span> about the ongoing challenges of Brexit. </span><span>And the staff writer Adam Gopnik, who’s been preparing Thanksgiving dinner for decades, considers the zen of cooking a turkey.</span></p>
Nov 16, 2018
After the 2008 Financial Crisis, the Economy Was Fracked Up
19:45
<p>The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act injected almost nine hundred billion dollars into the U.S. economy to help the nation recover from the 2008 financial crisis. Ninety billion dollars went to clean energy, with the intention of jump-starting a new “green economy” to replace aging fossil-fuel technologies. Instead, the bill may have done the opposite. Low interest rates, which made borrowing easier, encouraged a flood of financing for the young fracking industry, which used novel chemical techniques to extract gas and oil.  Fracking boomed, and made the U.S. the leading producer of oil and gas by some estimates. The financial journalist Bethany McLean and the investor and hedge-fund manager Jim Chanos tell<em> The New Yorker’s</em> <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/Eliza-Griswold">Eliza Griswold</a> that something in the fracking math doesn’t add up. If interest rates rise, reducing the flow of cheap capital, they believe that the industry will collapse.  </p> <p>Then, the former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson tells Adam Davidson what went wrong in Obama’s policy. Subsidies for specific industries, like solar, can’t change the market significantly enough, Paulson says. In his view—one shared by a growing consensus of economists—we need to correctly assess the costs of carbon emissions to society, and charge those costs to the emissions’ producers: a carbon tax. Then, with a more level playing field, the market can pick the best source of energy.  </p> <p> </p>
Nov 13, 2018
The Financial Crash and the Climate Crisis
36:10
<p>Ten years after the financial crash of 2008, the economy is humming along, with steady growth and rising employment. Yet that crisis continues to shape our world, particularly through the rise of right-wing populism and the ever-worsening climate crisis.  Jill Lepore, Adam Davidson, and George Packer talk with David Remnick about how we got here. Two Florida real-estate experts explain why short-term thinking rules the day, and the former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson explains why he has embraced the idea of imposing a carbon tax.   </p> <p> </p> <p> </p>
Nov 09, 2018
Derek Smalls—Harry Shearer’s Character in “Spinal Tap”—Returns with His Solo Début
23:41
<p>Harry Shearer is known for doing many characters, including Mr. Burns and others from “The Simpsons,” but the most famous is Derek Smalls, the saturnine, epically muttonchopped bassist in the movie “This Is Spinal Tap.” Almost thirty-five years after the release of Rob Reiner’s mockumentary about a struggling metal band, Shearer has given Smalls a new lease on life. Although the character is fictional, the new solo album, “<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Smalls-Change-Meditations-Upon-Ageing/dp/B079PTDWCH">Smalls Change: Meditations Upon Ageing</a>,” is real. Smalls tells <em>The New Yorker’s</em> <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/andy-borowitz">Andy Borowitz</a> that he produced the record with support from the British Fund for Ageing Rockers, and it contains songs about a toupee (which belongs to Satan) and erectile dysfunction. (You have to give the dysfunctional part, Smalls says, “a good, stern talking-to.”) And they discuss what is clearly a sore subject: the fact that Spinal Tap was never inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Plus, a <em>New Yorker</em> editor picks three favorites for a new parent.</p> <p> </p>
Nov 06, 2018
From Mexico, the Reality of the Migrant Caravan
30:39
<p><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/jonathan-blitzer">Jonathan Blitzer</a> spent a week in Mexico with the so-called caravan—a group of about five thousand migrants, most of them from Honduras, who are making a dangerous journey on foot to the U.S. border. Donald Trump, who has described the caravan as “invaders” who might include terrorists and criminals, is using the issue to galvanize Republicans for the midterms. The reality, which Blitzer describes to David Remnick, is remarkably different: exhausted people walking thirty miles a day in sandals and Crocs, sleeping largely in the open, and wholly dependent on townspeople along their route and a few aid groups for food and water. They travel in a group for protection from kidnappers, criminals, and the notoriously severe Mexican immigration authorities. They know little about how their trek has been politicized in the U.S. Those who make it to the U.S. border will likely be greeted by an overwhelming show of American force, but, for these migrants, almost any uncertainty is better than the certain poverty and violence of their home country. Plus, a group of progressive women in rural Texas has been organizing in secret, but some of them are ready to speak out.</p>
Nov 02, 2018
Janelle Monáe, from the Future to the Present
30:17
<p>Janelle Monáe is an unlikely pop star. Her music is rooted in soul and R. &amp; B., but also in pop, punk, and New Wave; her early releases were science-fiction concept albums, influenced by Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” and modern Afrofuturism, set far in the future, and starring herself as an android.  She didn’t follow the Zeitgeist—she made her own Zeitgeist. Then, after gaining recognition as a major figure in pop, Monáe made an impressive acting début as one of the leads of “Hidden Figures,” and appeared in the Oscar-winning film “Moonlight.” Monáe sat down with David Remnick to talk about her latest album, “Dirty Computer.” Despite the title, it’s not at all science fiction. For the first time, she’s dealing frankly with the issues that she’s facing—and that our country is facing—right now. Plus, the staff writer Judith Thurman hits the streets of multiethnic Queens with a linguist who speaks so many languages that he’s lost count. Luis Miguel Rojas-Berscia says the trick is to be fearless, and shameless, about engaging strangers in conversation.  “You have to get rid of that inhibition,” he says, “if you want to speak a language.”</p>
Oct 30, 2018
Daniel Radcliffe Gets His Facts Straight, and Pennsylvania’s Pipeline Politics
25:43
<p>The actor Daniel Radcliffe is on Broadway in a new play called “The Lifespan of a Fact”—perhaps the first-ever work of theatre in which a fact checker is a starring role. Radcliffe’s character is obsessive about his work, and he becomes locked in combat with a writer whose methods are unorthodox.  To get a taste of what fact-checking is really like, Radcliffe got lessons from Peter Canby and Parker Henry of <em>The New Yorker</em>, and then had to check a short piece himself: a review of a Mexican restaurant. Fact and opinion, he quickly learned, are not as easily separated as a layman might think. And in Pennsylvania, the reporter Eliza Griswold follows the route of a pipeline that carries fracking by-products through the back yards of some unhappy voters who think both parties are to blame.</p>
Oct 26, 2018
Kelela Reinvents R. & B., and Sally Yates Gets Fired
42:10
<p>When the acting Attorney General Sally Yates wouldn’t defend the so-called Muslim travel ban, she was promptly sacked—“before it was fashionable to be fired” in the Trump Administration, Jeffrey Toobin says.  Yates, who served in the Justice Department during the Bush and Obama Administrations, talks with Toobin at the 2018 New Yorker Festival, about the impact of Trump on her career and on American politics. The singer Kelela reinvents R. &amp; B. with influences from jazz to trip-hop and electronica, and she performs a live set at the festival accompanied by the producer and d.j. Loric Sih.    </p>
Oct 23, 2018
In the Midterms, White Supremacy Is Running for Office
14:40
<p>While the big story going into the midterm elections has been the possibility of a “blue wave”—an upsurge of Democratic progressives, including a high number of women and minority candidates—the divisive political climate has also given us the very opposite: candidates on the far right openly espousing white-supremacist and white-nationalist views.  <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/andrew-marantz">Andrew Marantz</a>, who covers political extremism, among other topics, says that these views have always been on the fringes of political life, but, in the era of Trump, they have moved closer to the center.  Candidates who used to “dog-whistle”—use coded language to appeal to racist voters—now openly make white-supremacist statements that Republican Party leadership won’t disavow. Marantz talks with David Remnick about the campaigns of Steve King, the incumbent in Iowa’s Fourth Congressional District; Corey Stewart, a pro-Confederate running for a Senate seat in Virginia; and Arthur Jones, a neo-Nazi running in Illinois’s Third Congressional District.  </p>
Oct 19, 2018
Joan Baez Is Still Protesting
21:35
<p>“You know, I think as I get older,” Joan Baez tells David Remnick, “someone will show me a photograph”—of the March on Washington, for example—“and I’ll think, ‘Oh my god, I was there. And those people were there, and Dr. King said what he said.’ Sometimes, going into a historic moment, you know it, and other times you don’t know it. In that case I think by midway through the morning, we all knew.” Baez became the defining voice of folk music as it intersected with the leftist politics of the sixties and beyond. She performed at the March on Washington and at Woodstock; she went on a peace mission to Hanoi where she was caught in an American bombing raid; she adopted cause after cause. Her work has changed with her age. She can’t hit the high notes of her youth, and she stopped writing songs decades ago—or as she describes it, the songs simply stopped coming to her. Yet she has never stopped performing protest music. At WNYC’s studios, she played two songs from her new record, “Whistle Down the Wind”: one is a prayer for healing after the mass killing in Charleston, written by Zoe Mulford; the other a dirge on climate change by Anohni.  </p>
Oct 16, 2018
Is Voting Safe?
33:57
<p>For democracy to function, we have to trust and accept the results of elections. But that trust is increasingly difficult to maintain in a world where malicious actors like the G.R.U., the Russian intelligence agency, have been actively probing our election systems for technological vulnerabilities. <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/sue-halpern">Sue Halpern</a>, who reports on election security, spoke with the researcher Logan Lamb, who found a massive amount of information from the Georgia election system sitting unsecured on the Internet. The information included election officials’ passwords and the names and addresses of voters, and Lamb made the discovery during the time that (according to the Mueller investigation) Russian hackers were probing the system. Georgia is one of a number of states that do not use any paper backup for their balloting, so suspected hacking of voting machines or vote tabulators can be nearly impossible to prove. On top of this, new restrictive voting laws purge voters who, for instance, haven’t voted in the last few elections, so hackers can disenfranchise voters by deleting or changing information in the databases—without tampering with the tallied votes. Susan Greenhalgh of the National Election Defense Coalition tells Halpern that while some states are inclined to resist federal assistance in their election operations, they are poorly equipped to fight cyber-battles on their own. Plus, the story of explorer Henry Worsley, who set out at fifty-five ski to ski alone across Antarctica, hauling more than three hundred pounds of gear and posting an audio diary by satellite phone. <em>New Yorker</em> staff writer David Grann spoke with Worsley’s widow, Joanna, about the painful choice she made to support her husband in an endeavor that seemed fatal.  </p>
Oct 12, 2018
The Long-Distance Con, Part 2
36:49
<p><em>This is part two of a two-part series. Part one can be heard </em><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/podcast/the-new-yorker-radio-hour/joan-jetts-reputation-and-a-long-distance-con"><em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p> </p> <p>On the day that Maggie Robinson Katz learned that her father had only a few days to live, she also found out that her wealthy family couldn’t pay his hospital bills. Her father, Terry Robinson, had lost much of his money in the real-estate crash and the rest in a business relationship, of sorts, with a man named Jim Stuckey. A West Virginian based in Manila, Stuckey claimed that hidden in jungles and caves in the Philippines were huge caches of gold bullion, uncut U.S. currency, and Treasury bonds; if Robinson put up the money to pay the right people, Stuckey could get the treasures out. It seemed absurd to people around Robinson, and the Treasury Department warns of scams that sound just like this. But Robinson, a successful retired executive, sent Stuckey hundreds of thousands of dollars, until he was broke. His daughter Maggie struggles to understand why and how, and finally goes to Manila to confront the man who took the money.  </p>
Oct 09, 2018
Rebecca Traister Is Happy to Be Mad
17:04
<p>After the election of Donald Trump, the feminist journalist Rebecca Traister began channeling her anger into a book. The result, “Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger” combines an analysis of how women’s anger is discouraged and deflected in patriarchal society, with a historical look at times when that anger has had political impact. Landing a year into the #MeToo movement, it could not be more timely; an unprecedented number of women have spoken bluntly about their experiences with sexual harassment and abuse and demanded consequences. Yet Traister told David Remnick that she sympathizes with men “caught in the middle” of #MeToo, “who entered the world with one set of expectations . . . and are being told halfway through that [their behavior is] no longer acceptable.” But, Traister says, “There’s no other way to do it. We don’t get to just start fresh with a generation starting now.”  </p>
Oct 05, 2018
Joan Jett’s Reputation
26:11
<p>Joan Jett cut a massive figure in rock and roll, starting in the nineteen-seventies and continuing with a string of hits including “I Love Rock and Roll,” “Bad Reputation,” “Crimson and Clover,” and others. Jett was kind of glam, kind of punk, and eventually just classic rock. But she was one of the first women of any style or genre to break through as a leader: she hired the band, played the guitar, wrote the songs, and sang them. She came to influence a whole generation of female rockers who wanted to be as fully empowered as she was—not to mention fans like <em>The New Yorker’s</em> <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/sarah-larson">Sarah Larson</a>. Larson spoke with Jett on the occasion of a new documentary, “Joan Jett: Bad Reputation.” Plus, Donald Trump says trade wars are “easy to win.” Will they help the Democrats win the midterms?</p>
Oct 02, 2018
The Long-Distance Con, Part 1
27:12
<p>On the day that Maggie Robinson Katz learned that her father had only a few days to live, she also found out that her wealthy family couldn’t pay his hospital bills: his fortune had disappeared. Katz didn’t learn how until several years later, when she began listening to a box of cassette tapes given to her by her stepmother. The tapes record her father, Terry Robinson, speaking on the phone with a man named Jim Stuckey, a West Virginian based in Manila, about a kind of business proposition. Hidden in jungles and caves in the Philippines, Stuckey said, were huge caches of gold bullion, uncut U.S. currency, and Treasury bonds; if Robinson put up the money to pay the right people, Stuckey could get the treasures out. It seemed absurd to people around Robinson, and the Treasury Department warns of scams that sound just like this. But Robinson, a successful retired executive, fell for it hook, line, and sinker. His daughter Maggie struggles to understand why and how, talking with <em>The</em> <em>New Yorker</em>’s <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/maria-konnikova">Maria Konnikova</a> and others.  </p> <p><em>This is part one of a two-part series.</em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p>
Sep 28, 2018
Into the Woods with Scott Carrier
26:09
<p>After a thirty-year lobbying effort, Congress designated the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail in 2009. Unlike the well-known Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail, the P.N.T. runs east-west, trekking twelve hundred miles across multiple mountain ranges and pristine wilderness to connect the Continental Divide with the Pacific Ocean. For hiking advocates, it’ provides a singular opportunity to commune with the unspoiled natural world. For critics, like the writer Rick Bass, the P.N.T. is a reckless intrusion of dangerous creatures—people—into an ecologically sensitive grizzly-bear habitat in the Yaak Valley of Montana. Grizzlies are often the losers in encounters with humans, and their population in the Yaak Valley is estimated to be twenty-five bears, or even fewer. For the trail’s chief advocate, Ron Strickland, the critics’ point of view is mere selfishness: if Bass himself can live in the Yaak Valley, writing about the glory of this extraordinary landscape, why shouldn’t others have the chance to walk through? The producer Scott Carrier, who reported on this conflict from Montana, sees a tragic dimension to it: when it comes to nature, we seem fated to kill that which we love.  </p>
Sep 25, 2018
Lisa Brennan-Jobs on the Shadow of Steve Jobs, and Jill Lepore on the Long Sweep of American History
29:17
<p>Lisa Brennan-Jobs’s memoir, “Small Fry,” shares a common theme with many memoirs: the absent parent and the mark left by that absence in the adult writer. But the parent, in this case, is a figure who has also left his mark on the larger world. While Steve Jobs was becoming a titan of Silicon Valley and changed the future of computing, his daughter Lisa and her mother were living near the poverty line, struggling to get by. At first, Jobs avoided his responsibilities to them by denying his paternity. But even after he established a relationship with his daughter, his behavior was capricious and sometimes cruel. Yet Brennan-Jobs insists that she didn’t set out to write an exposé; rather, she wanted to tell a more universal story of a young woman finding her place in the world. “Small Fry,” in other words, is about Lisa, not Steve. “I knew I was writing a coming-of-age story about a girl,” she tells David Remnick, “but that it was going to be twisted into the story of a famous man.” Plus, the historian Jill Lepore on her new book that she says is the result of a dare: “These Truths,” a monumentally ambitious account of five-hundred-plus years of American history.</p>
Sep 21, 2018
Rachel Carson Dreams of the Sea
40:40
<p>Before she published “Silent Spring,” one of the most influential books of the last century, Rachel Carson was a young aspiring poet and then a doctoral candidate in marine biology. Although she couldn’t swim and disliked boats, says historian Jill Lepore, Carson fell in love with the ocean. Gazing into tide pools, she pioneered a new kind of nature writing.  Plus: David Attenborough, the reigning master of the nature documentary, shares lessons from a life spent observing life in every corner of the world; and the cartoonist Julia Wertz, who loves the obscure nooks, crannies, and histories of New York, takes us garbage picking on a neglected bit of shoreline where the trash of decades past keeps washing ashore.   </p>
Sep 18, 2018
Illeana Douglas Steps Forward
16:57
<p>The day after <em>The New Yorker</em> published Ronan Farrow’s exposé about <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/from-aggressive-overtures-to-sexual-assault-harvey-weinsteins-accusers-tell-their-stories">Harvey Weinstein</a>, Farrow got a phone call from the actress and screenwriter Illeana Douglas. She wanted to talk about Leslie Moonves, who was then the head of CBS and one of the most powerful men in the media industry. Douglas went on the record in a story by Farrow, describing an <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/08/06/les-moonves-and-cbs-face-allegations-of-sexual-misconduct">assault by Moonves</a> in the nineteen-nineties and the repercussions to her career after she refused him. “I got warnings about the casting couch, but I didn’t perceive this as the casting couch,” Douglas tells David Remnick.  Moonves “was a man who I admired, and respected, and who had gained my trust. And now he was on top of me.” On September 9th, <em>The New Yorker</em> published a <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/as-leslie-moonves-negotiates-his-exit-from-cbs-women-raise-new-assault-and-harassment-claims">follow-up story by Farrow</a>, describing new accusations. Three hours later, Moonves stepped down from his position at CBS. He has not, however, admitted any wrongdoing and has denied engaging in any non-consensual sex or any form of retaliation.</p>
Sep 14, 2018
Kwame Anthony Appiah on the Complications of Identity
14:00
<p>Kwame Anthony Appiah is one of leading thinkers on identity. A professor of philosophy and law at New York University, Appiah also writes the New York<em> Times Magazine’s</em> Ethicist column, answering readers’ questions on a wide range of common but thorny problems of modern life. He came to his interest in identity early, as his parents—an Englishwoman from a politically prominent family and an anti-colonial agitator descended from Ghanaian royalty—became notorious in Britain for their interracial marriage. While his own identity may be seen as complicated, he thinks that each of our identities is also more complicated than our current way of thinking allows us to acknowledge. In his new book, “The Lies that Bind: Rethinking Identity,” Appiah takes a position that is somewhat contrary to the identity politics of the left. He tells David Remnick that a focus on individual identities—whether addressed through race, gender, culture, or country—can work against human solidarity, and sometimes get in the way of solving our problems. “I’m a creature of the Enlightenment,” he says.  </p>
Sep 11, 2018
Parenting While Deported
40:06
<p>Idalia and Arnold came to this country nearly two decades ago, from Honduras. They settled in a small city in New England and found the working-class jobs of the type common to undocumented Central Americans: janitorial, hotel housekeeping and construction. They and their three children were a loving, close-knit family. The kids were active in school—in the band, on the football team, and in R.O.T.C. Idalia lectured them to work hard in school and set goals, and to spend less time playing video games. When one son got a hoverboard, he taught his mom to ride it, and she would take it to work to zoom around the hotel’s halls. But when Idalia was arrested for a traffic violation and deported to Honduras, things started to come apart. Idalia tries to stay present in her children’s lives, talking to them over video calls while they eat dinner or loaf around the house. But increasingly, it’s Andy, the sixteen-year-old middle child, who is playing the roles of mother and father to his whole family. The <em>New Yorker</em> staff writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/sarah-stillman">Sarah Stillman</a> and Micah Hauser, who have been tracking the fates of deportees, have spent much of the past year with this ordinary family that is facing an extraordinary situation.  </p> <p><em>The Columbia Journalism School's Global Migration Project supported the reporting of this story. </em><em>Eileen Grench assisted in translation.  </em></p> <p> </p>
Sep 07, 2018
Rev. Franklin Graham Offers an Evangelist’s View of Donald Trump
21:28
<p>Like his father, Rev. Billy Graham, before him, Rev. Franklin Graham is one of the nation’s most prominent preachers, influential in the evangelical world and in the highest echelons of Washington. But where Billy Graham came to regret that he had “sometimes crossed a line” into politics, Franklin Graham has no such qualms about showing his full-throated support of the President. An early advocate of Trump’s candidacy, he has remained stalwart even as scandals pile up. Graham tells the <em>New Yorker</em> staff writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/eliza-griswold">Eliza Griswold</a> that Trump’s critics have forgotten that “he’s our President. If he succeeds, you’re going to benefit.” Of Trump’s many personal scandals, Graham says only, “I hope we all learn from mistakes and get better. . . . As human beings, we’re all flawed, including Franklin Graham.” Plus, the novelist Curtis Sittenfeld on her love for the St. Louis grocery chain Schnucks.</p>
Sep 04, 2018
For a Palestinian Candidate, a Contested Election in Jerusalem
34:11
<p>Ramadan Dabash is a civil engineer and a <em>mukhtar</em>—an Arab community leader—in his neighborhood of East Jerusalem. His run for a seat on the city council of Jerusalem has been making international headlines because the Palestinian community has long refused to participate in city politics, which they see as legitimizing Israeli rule. (Palestinians in Jerusalem can vote in municipal elections, but do not have representation in Israel’s national government.) But with no political solution in sight Dabash feels an imperative to engage in city politics in order to bargain for infrastructure and services for the people of East Jerusalem. In doing so, he could be courting attacks from Hamas, Fatah, or Israelis angered by his move into politics. But he also has unlikely allies, including a hard-right Likud member who supports the Israeli settlement movement and might have his own motives for supporting Palestinian engagement.  <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/bernard-avishai">Bernard Avishai</a>, a <em>New Yorker</em> contributor based in Jerusalem, interviewed Dabash at length, and he explains the complexities of his campaign to David Remnick.  </p> <p>The Jerusalem city-council election takes place on October 30th.  Plus, the acclaimed writer Calvin Trillin talks about another side of his career, as the screenwriter of movies performed by his children, grandchildren, and their friends.   <br><br></p>
Aug 31, 2018
David Simon’s “The Deuce” Charts the Rise of Pornography
38:55
<p>David Simon is sympathetic to the sex workers he depicts in “The Deuce,” which will return to HBO for its second season in September. He is even sympathetic to some of the pimps and mobsters who were involved in the early years of the porn business. He is unambiguously critical, however, of porn’s effect on America. He tells David Remnick that porn—universally available on the Internet in its most extreme forms — has warped a whole society toward misogyny, and that we have not yet begun to reckon with its effects. Plus, the fiction writer Yiyun Li on the appeal of cemeteries, and Nick Lowe talks about getting old gracefully in rock and roll.  </p>
Aug 28, 2018
An N.Y.P.D. Sergeant Blows the Whistle on Quotas
17:44
<p>Sergeant Edwin Raymond is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit filed by a group of New York City police officers who have become famous as “the N.Y.P.D.-12.” They claim that, despite a 2010 statewide ban, officers are forced to meet monthly quotas for arrests and summonses—and that those quotas are enforced disproportionately on people of color. “They can't enforce [quotas] in Park Slope, predominantly white areas,” Raymond says. “But yet here they are in Flatbush, in Crown Heights, in Harlem, Mott Haven, South Side of Jamaica, enforcing these things.” He walks <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/jennifer-gonnerman">Jennifer Gonnerman</a> through the process by which so-called quality-of-life or broken-windows policing—advocated forcefully by former New York Police Commissioner William Bratton—led to a form of systemic racism in policing.  Although he was concerned about what blowing the whistle would do to his own career, Raymond was promoted to sergeant, and he continues to hear from people around the world concerned about the spread of quota policing—which he calls “Bratton’s cancer.”</p> <p> </p>
Aug 24, 2018
Three Actors Explain What It Means to be “Presidential”
26:35
<p>During the lead-up to the 2016 election, three actors who have played fictional Presidents of the United States discussed what it means to be “Presidential,” in a panel moderated by <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/michael-schulman">Michael Schulman</a>. Bill Pullman, who, as President Thomas J. Whitmore, rallied the nations of the world to join forces in “Independence Day,” talks about how a reaction to Bill Clinton informed the movie’s depiction of an ex-military President. Alfre Woodard talks about how “State of Affairs” imagined a second black President in the character of Constance Payton. And Tony Goldwyn, who played Fitzgerald Grant, on “Scandal,” talks about Presidential nudity.</p> <p> </p>
Aug 21, 2018
Seth Meyers Talks with Ariel Levy
29:15
<p>Seth Meyers—a veteran of “Saturday Night Live” and the host of NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers”—sat down at the 2017 New Yorker Festival to walk <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/ariel-levy">Ariel Levy</a> through a career that seems charmed. As an unknown improv performer, Meyers was picked for the cast of “Saturday Night Live”; he eventually became the show’s head writer and the host of “Weekend Update,” alongside Amy Poehler. Along the way, Meyers tells Levy, he had a number of strange run-ins with Donald Trump. When Trump appeared on “S.N.L.,” he was in a sketch about his lack of empathy, with Meyers playing his son. Later, Meyers hosted the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner and observed that “Donald Trump says he has a great relationship with the blacks. But unless the Blacks are a family of white people, I think he’s mistaken.” After, it was widely reported that President Obama’s mockery of Trump at that event spurred Trump to launch a campaign for the Presidency. At first, Meyers was hurt by the lack of attention. “I wanted to share credit. . . . I helped trick an unelectable person to run for President,” Meyers says. “Then he won. And when he won, my first thought was, ‘This is Obama’s fault. I had nothing to do with it.’ ”</p>
Aug 17, 2018
David Remnick on Aretha Franklin
6:07
<p>Aretha Franklin brought Barack Obama to tears when she performed “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” at the Kennedy Center Honors tribute to Carole King in December 2015. When video from that <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHsnZT7Z2yQ" target="_blank">event went viral</a>, it reawakened Aretha fans across the country.<em> The New Yorker</em>’s David Remnick, <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/04/04/aretha-franklins-american-soul" target="_blank">who wrote about Franklin</a>, looks back on the singer’s childhood in Detroit and reflects on her music’s unparalleled combination of “Saturday night and Sunday morning.”</p>
Aug 14, 2018
Weeding with Parker Posey
16:14
<p>Parker Posey has been a vivid presence in American film, especially indie film, for twenty-five years. She got her start in “Dazed and Confused,” and went on to appear in dozens of movies, including Christopher Guest’s cult-classic satires “Waiting For Guffman,” “Best in Show<em>,</em>” and “A Mighty Wind.”</p> <p>Like her performances, Parker Posey’s new memoir is surprising and funny. “You’re On an Airplane” is written as a monologue delivered by the author to her seatmate on a long flight. It’s also full of recipes, and it includes instructions for throwing pottery. Being so practical and resourceful—not to mention a former cheerleader—served Posey in good stead when she, <em>The New Yorker</em>’s <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/michael-schulman">Michael Schulman</a>, and his producer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/alex-barron">Alex Barron</a> found themselves locked out of her building and trapped in the small yard behind it.  </p>
Aug 14, 2018
Lee Child, “Moby-Dick,” and Other Summer Reads
40:02
<p>We delve into the escapist joys of a great summer read. David Remnick talks with Lee Child, whose thrillers about Jack Reacher—twenty-three books and counting, with a hundred million copies in print—bring the mystique of the cowboy to modern America. Amanda Petrusich says that the start of “Moby-Dick” nails the desperation to get out of town that afflicts every New Yorker; Vinson Cunningham explains how the usually tragic plays of Eugene O’Neill help him loosen up and find his rhythm as a prose writer; and Helen Rosner pulls out a cookbook to make a strawberry fool—a luridly hued but beautiful dessert that perfectly captures the taste of summer.  </p>
Aug 10, 2018
William Finnegan Surfing, and Kristen Roupenian Among the Pilgrims
26:41
<p>William Finnegan’s memoir, “Barbarian Days,” from 2015, holds the distinction of being the one book about surfing to win a Pulitzer Prize. On a Sunday morning, not long past dawn, he took David Remnick to the Rockaways for his first and only surfing lesson. And Kristen Roupenian, the author of the story “Cat Person,” revisits her old stomping grounds of Plimoth Plantation, the living-history museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts, where reënactors portray pilgrims from the early seventeenth century. Roupenian’s “Cat Person” revolves around online romance and consent, and it touched a nerve with readers in the #MeToo era, becoming one of the most-read stories ever on newyorker.com. It couldn’t be more of the moment, but Roupenian credits those Pilgrim reënactors for shaping her as a writer. Growing up near Plimoth Plantation, she says, you realize early that history isn’t a sequence of facts: it’s always a story someone is telling you.</p> <p> </p>
Aug 07, 2018
Astrid Holleeder’s Crime Family
29:07
<p><span>All her life, Astrid Holleeder knew that her older brother Willem was involved in crime; in their tough Amsterdam neighborhood, and as children of an abusive father, it wasn’t a shocking development. But she was stunned when, in 1983, Willem and his best friend, Cornelius van Hout, were revealed to be the masterminds behind the audacious kidnapping of the beer magnate Alfred Heineken. Although he served some time for the crime, it was only the beginning of the successful career of Holleeder. He became a celebrity criminal; he had a newspaper column, appeared on talk shows, and took selfies with admirers in Amsterdam. He got rich off of his investments in the sex trade and other businesses, but kept them well hidden. But when van Hout was assassinated and other of Holleeder’s associates started turning up dead, Astrid suspected that her brother had committed the murders. She decided to wear a wire and gather the evidence to put him away.f that didn't work, she told the <em>New Yorker</em> staff writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/patrick-radden-keefe">Patrick Radden Keefe</a>, she would have to kill Willem herself. Willem is on trial now for multiple murders, and Astrid is testifying against him. Living in hiding, travelling in disguise, she tells Keefe the story of her complicity and its consequences. Keefe’s story about Astrid Holleeder, “<a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/08/06/how-a-notorious-gangster-was-exposed-by-his-own-sister">Crime Family</a>,” appears in this week’s magazine.</span></p>
Aug 03, 2018
Tommy Orange and the Urban Native Experience
25:01
<p>Tommy Orange had never read a book about what it means to be a Native American in a big city. In a conversation with <em>The New Yorker</em>’s fiction editor, Orange says that urban Native writers like himself—he is a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes of Oklahoma, and grew up in Oakland, California—may feel their own experience to be inauthentic, compared to stories set on the reservation. Orange’s début novel, “There There,” follows a small cast of Native characters whose lives converge at a powwow at the Oakland Coliseum. Plus, Vinson Cunningham on the particular joys of a New York wedding, complete with metal detectors.  </p>
Jul 31, 2018
Helsinki Fallout
30:30
<p>At the recent summit in Helsinki, Vladimir Putin proposed that, in exchange for letting Robert Mueller interrogate some G.R.U. agents who are linked to election hacking, the U.S. should turn over a group of officials and citizens to Moscow. The most senior of them was Michael McFaul, who served as the U.S. Ambassador to Russia during the Obama Administration—a time of chilly relations between the nations. McFaul and his family were subjected to treatment unthinkable for a diplomat: stalking, harassment, and surveillance.  The White House has said that it is no longer considering Putin’s overture, but McFaul tells David Remnick that Putin’s increasingly assertive behavior—and Trump’s reverential attitude towards Putin—has him concerned for his safety. Meanwhile, after Helsinki, bipartisan support is growing in the Senate for a bill that would impose severe sanctions on Russia to retaliate for election meddling. Senator Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat from Maryland, is a co-sponsor of the DETER Act, and he tells staff writer Susan Glasser that the daylight between congressional Republicans and the President is growing.  </p>
Jul 27, 2018
Thomas McGuane and Callan Wink Go Fishing
20:06
<p>Thomas McGuane, the acclaimed author of “The Sporting Club,” thinks fiction set in the American West could stand to lose some of its ranching clichés. The novelist, a consummate outdoorsman and devoted fisherman, met up with the writer Callan Wink, who recently published his first book of stories and works as a fishing guide on the Yellowstone River.  McGuane and Wink discussed the state of the short story and the late author Jim Harrison, a mutual friend, all while sitting in a fifteen-foot drift boat. And, yes, they caught a few fish, too. </p>
Jul 24, 2018
Philip Roth’s American Portraits and American Prophecy
55:36
<p>The novelist and short-story writer Philip Roth died in May at the age of eighty-five. In novels like “Portnoy’s Complaint,” “The Human Stain,” and “American Pastoral,” Roth anatomized postwar American life—particularly the lives of Jewish people in the Northeast. And in works like “The Ghost Writer” and “The Plot Against America,” he speculated on how the shadow of authoritarianism might fall over the United States. The breadth and depth of Roth’s work kept him a vital literary figure throughout the second half of the twentieth century, and established him among the most respected writers of fiction in American history. David Remnick speaks with Roth’s official biographer, Blake Bailey, about Roth’s life and career. Judith Thurman, Claudia Roth Pierpont, and Lisa Halliday discuss the portrayals of women in Roth’s work and the accusations of misogyny that he has faced. And, finally, we hear an interview with the author, from 2003, when he sat down with David Remnick for the BBC. Plus: the actor Liev Schreiber reads excerpts from Roth’s fiction.</p>
Jul 20, 2018
The Rezneck Riders
26:58
<p>The Navajo Nation covers over twenty-seven thousand square miles in Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico; it’s an area roughly the size of West Virginia. Vincent Salabye grew up there, in a community troubled by memories of conquest by the United States Army and by persistent poverty, addiction, and despair. To grapple with these hereditary demons, Salabye came up with a novel idea: he hopped on a bike. As a kid, he once rode all the way to Texas and back: almost three thousand miles. “That's my horse,” says Vincent. “It takes me places. That's always ingrained in me. That's how my mind-set is, trying to explore the lands that I always grew up on.”</p> <p>Now a new crop of cyclists on the Navajo Nation are following Salabye’s impulse, and making a new kind of bike riding called Enduro their own. It’s a dangerous, difficult, and extremely intense form of high-speed downhill racing. Enduro has given some Navajo men a new way to connect with their ancient tribal lands and to defy the hard prospects and low expectations that too often characterize coming of age on the rez.</p>
Jul 17, 2018
Brazil, Bruce Lee, and Black Lives in the Music of Kamasi Washington, and the Uncertain Future of the Democratic Party
29:34
<p>Benjamin Wallace-Wells provides a survey of some key midterm races and considers what they tell us about the direction of the Democratic Party. And David Remnick speaks with the saxophonist and bandleader Kamasi Washington. For anyone who thinks of jazz as just classic compositions played in dimly lit clubs, Washington’s music will come as a surprise and revelation. His concerts are like dance parties. And his albums draws on influences from Coltrane to Stravinsky to Fela Kuti to N.W.A. His eclectic style has made him a star in the jazz world, and has attracted some high-profile collaborators, including Lauryn Hill, Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar. And the political message of some of his music led one critic to call him “the jazz voice of Black Lives Matter.” “The major effect that music has is it connects people,” Washington tells David Remnick, “That’s kind of the extent of what the music can do. In the end, the world changes as people decide to change.”</p>
Jul 13, 2018
Love, War, and the Magical Lamb-Brain Sandwiches of Aleppo, Syria
29:23
<p>When<a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/adam-davidson"> Adam Davidson</a> was a reporter in Baghdad during the Iraq War, he started dating a fellow-reporter, Jen Banbury, of Salon. On a holiday break, they left the war zone and traveled to Aleppo, Syria—then a beautiful, ancient, bustling city—and, while there, they ate the best sandwiches that they had ever had. They were shockingly good, so much so that Adam and Jen never quite registered what was in them or where they came from. The couple, now married, told this story to many friends over the years, but none was more interested than Dan Pashman, the host of the food podcast “<a href="http://www.sporkful.com/">The Sporkful</a>.” Fascinated by the mystery, Pashman set out on a quest to find and re-create the sandwiches. He talked to Syrian emigrés, a political refugee, and finally to Imad Serjieh, the owner of the family sandwich shop that bears his last name. Pashman found that the Serjieh sandwiches—preferably the one made with boiled, spiced lamb brain—aren’t just a local favorite; they capture the essence of the city, and, as long as they are still being made, Pashman thinks, Aleppo lives. Plus, the writer and monologuist<a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/jenny-allen"> Jenny Allen</a> has something she’d like to say to you—or, rather, some things she’d like you to stop saying.</p> <p><em>This episode originally aired on November 10, 2017</em></p>
Jul 10, 2018
Tina Brown on Vanity Fair, the Eighties, and Harvey Weinstein
26:20
<p>Tina Brown is a legend in New York publishing. She was barely thirty years old when she was recruited from London to take over a foundering <em>Vanity Fair</em>. Take over she did, becoming one of the power centers of New York culture by bringing together the intellectual world and the celebrity world of entertainment. She later brought enormous change to <em>The New Yorker</em> (including, for the first time, photographs); she launched <em>Talk</em> magazine with Harvey Weinstein; and she helped launch the Daily Beast. Her new book, “The Vanity Fair Diaries, 1983-1992” is a kind of coming-of-age story about a pre-Internet era of unruffled ambition, unlimited budgets, big shoulders, big hair, and fabulous parties.</p> <p>Tina Brown tells David Remnick that her experience with Weinstein, as unpleasant as it was—she found the mogul “bullying [and] duplicitous,” profane and erratic—did not prepare her for the revelations of brutality and intimidation that have been published in <em>The New Yorker </em>and elsewhere. The experience has shaken her. “I have friends who’ve been accused of things who I want instinctively to defend, but I’ve held back,” Brown says. “Because I don’t know what’s coming next. The truth is, you realize you don’t really know anybody.” Plus, the cartoonist Emily Flake on the joys of Rudy’s Bar, where the combo of a shot and a beer costs five bucks. The sense of history and ritual, and the troubles confessed across generations, remind her of church—but at church, Flake points out, “they’re not going to let you sit around for six hours and drink.”</p> <p><em>This episode originally aired on November 10, 2017</em></p>
Jul 06, 2018
Naomi Klein Interviewed by Jia Tolentino
23:19
<p>The author of “No Logo” and “The Shock Doctrine,” Naomi Klein has become what Noam Chomsky was to an earlier generation of leftists. Her theories tie inequality and climate change together, arguing that capitalists use disasters to advance the agenda of neoliberalism. In a conversation with the staff writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/jia-tolentino">Jia Tolentino</a> at the 2017 New Yorker Festival, Klein makes the case that, by embracing billionaire “saviors” like Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg, liberals helped pave the way for Donald Trump. She is clearly a partisan of the left, but she thinks we could all benefit from reflecting on the ways that each of us—on social media, for example—is a little bit Trumpish.  </p> <p>  </p>
Jul 03, 2018
Hasan Minhaj Interviewed by Vinson Cunningham
32:56
<p>On a high-school speech-and-debate team, Hasan Minhaj learned the value of a joke: “If I made the judges laugh, I automatically saw an increase in the amount of points that I would get. And so I was like, ‘Oh, that’s a really powerful tool to get people on your side.’ ”  Now a “Daily Show” correspondent, Minhaj was asked to host the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner during the first year of the Trump Administration. “No one wanted to do this,” he said. “So, of course, it lands in the hands of an immigrant.” But he is increasingly aware of the limits of comedy. After performing at the Moth’s story-slam events, he wrote the special “Homecoming King,” now on Netflix, which describes the hate crimes that his Indian immigrant family endured after September 11th.  He spoke with the staff writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/vinson-cunningham">Vinson Cunningham</a> at the 2017 New Yorker Festival. Plus, Yotam Ottolenghi finished a graduate program in philosophy; he tells Jane Kramer why he left it for a life in the kitchen.  </p>
Jun 29, 2018
Molly Ringwald, Judd Apatow, and #MeToo
32:57
<p>The John Hughes films that made Molly Ringwald famous—“Sixteen Candles,” “Pretty in Pink,” and “The Breakfast Club”—look very different to their star now that she has a teen-age daughter of her own. Speaking with the writer and director Judd Apatow, who was heavily influenced by Hughes, Ringwald says, “I don’t want to imagine a world where somebody basically mistreats my daughter and she doesn’t expect an apology.”  But Apatow is well aware that, in time, audiences may judge his own body of work critically: “People will watch it in the future and go, ‘Whoa, how did they think that was O.K. to do?’ ” Plus, Autumn Miles, a survivor of domestic abuse who has become an evangelical activist, says that churches need to stop encouraging women to submit to abuse. If male church leaders are guilty of sexism, she tells Eliza Griswold, they need to “repent.”</p>
Jun 26, 2018
The Government Took Her Son. Will It Give Him Back?
22:57
<p>Border Patrol, which has forcibly separated families in border detention, has put some immigrant children in the care of a separate agency, the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Although a recent executive order modified the Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy of child separation, it said nothing about reuniting the more than two thousand children still in detention with their families. <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/jonathan-blitzer">Jonathan Blitzer</a> has reported on the bureaucratic nightmare facing mothers and fathers when the government is unable or unwilling to tell them where their children are. At an ICE facility in El Paso, Blitzer spoke with Ana Maritza Rivera, whose five-year-old son, Jairo, was taken from her. Through sheer luck, she found a case worker who knew his location, but it isn’t clear whether the government will reunite them before deporting Rivera to her native Honduras. Blitzer says that Rivera told an official, “If I get to the airport and my son is not there, you’ll be killing me.” And two crossword-puzzle constructors explain to David Remnick how they are crafting clues for a younger, more diverse audience of “solvers.” “I want to see more bands that I like,” Kameron Austin Collins says. “I want to see more black people—black people who aren’t Jay-Z or Nas, who are common in crossword puzzles because of the letter combinations.”  </p>
Jun 22, 2018
The Comedian Hannah Gadsby Goes Big Time, and Renounces Comedy
24:05
<p>Hannah Gadsby is a headlining comedian in Australia, a regular at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and is about to become a very big deal in America with a special on Netflix called “Nanette.”  It’s a full-length comedy show, and at the same time, a carefully structured critique of stand-up comedy. “Nanette” reflects her experiences as an overweight woman, a lesbian, a native of Tasmania, and an adult diagnosed with autism, and addresses subjects as serious as Gadsby’s sexual assault..  She tells <em>The New Yorker’s</em> Emily Nussbaum that comedy contains a kind of violence, and she might be done with it.  Plus: Amanda Petrusich picks three outdoor music festivals worth sweating for.</p>
Jun 19, 2018
James Wood Is Done “Prosecuting Wars”
32:36
<p>Jane Mayer explains why Charles and David Koch are willing to spend as much as thirty million dollars on advertising that opposes Donald Trump’s campaign of tariffs—right as the midterm elections offer voters a referendum on his Presidency. And David Remnick speaks with James Wood, the literary critic and occasional novelist. When Wood joined <em>The New Yorker</em> as a literary critic, he promised that he wouldn’t “go soft”: he had been well known at <em>The New Republic</em> for battles with prominent writers whose styles he found flawed. Wood tells David Remnick that he now regrets that choice of words. Changing his mind or expanding his taste needn’t be seen as form of capitulation. Criticism itself, Wood says, has been, to some degree, a detour from his calling: writing his own fiction. Wood’s new novel, “Upstate,” follows a father—an Englishman, like Wood—as he spends time with his adult daughters. One is an energetic corporate executive, the other a melancholy professor of philosophy. The book is a meditation on what it means to be a parent, and Wood notes that male novelists, including Karl Ove Knausgaard and Michael Chabon, are finally beginning to write about the experience of parenting as a central concern.  </p>
Jun 15, 2018
In the Civil Service, Loyalty Now Comes Before Expertise
20:54
<p>Donald Trump came into office promising to make so many cuts to the government that “your head will spin.” <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/evan-osnos">Evan Osnos</a> has been reporting from Washington on how the Administration is radically changing the civil service, and he’s found that, to a degree unprecedented in modern times, political loyalty is prized over qualifications and experience. In many departments, senior officials deemed insufficiently loyal have been “turkey-farmed”—reassigned to jobs that are meaningless or less important than their previous posts. (The practice was known in the Nixon Administration as the “new activity technique.”) Osnos spoke with Matthew Allen, who was, until recently, the communications director at the Bureau of Land Management. And Bob Odenkirk, who played a newsman in “The Post,” reminds you of some headlines you may have missed.  </p>
Jun 12, 2018
Another Fiasco for American Soccer, and Praying for Tangier
34:29
<p>The 2018 World Cup begins this week in Russia, and America is taking a powder. The men’s team failed to qualify for the tournament after a stunning upset loss to Trinidad and Tobago, which is considered to be one of the worst teams in competition. Perhaps no fan was more upset than Roger Bennett, an English soccer commentator and new U.S. citizen, who has rather quixotically devoted himself to the sport as it’s played in America. Bennett is the co-host of the podcast “Men in Blazers” from NBC Sports, and recently hosted “<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/american-fiasco/id1389231303?mt=2">American Fiasco</a>” for WNYC Studios—a longform exploration of the epic U.S. failure in the 1998 World Cup. Bennett spoke with Michael Luo, the editor of newyorker.com, about why the same problems keep casting a shadow over the sport’s future in America. Plus, a visit to Tangier, Virginia. The island is washing out to sea, and its residents may be among the first American refugees of climate change. But that’s not how they see the loss of their island.</p>
Jun 09, 2018
Anthony Bourdain’s Interview with David Remnick
19:20
<p>Anthony Bourdain—the chef turned author, food anthropologist, and television star—died this week, at sixty-one. Bourdain made his début in <em>The New Yorke</em>r in 1999, with an essay called “<a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1999/04/19/dont-eat-before-reading-this">Don’t Eat Before Reading This,</a>” about working in the restaurant industry. It was an account of what really goes on in restaurants—extremely vivid, funny, gross, and, in parts, genuinely disturbing. After the success of that article, Bourdain went on to publish his best-selling memoir, “Kitchen Confidential,” and it’s no exaggeration to say that a star was born. When he took to television, it wasn’t for a typical celebrity-chef “stand and stir” show, but for a much more ambitious endeavor. On “Parts Unknown,” Bourdain travelled the world with a film crew, in search of authenticity.  It was never just about the food: his focus was on the people who make it and the people who eat it—from the farmers to the cooks to the diners, including President Obama, who Bourdain shared a meal with in Vietnam.</p> <p>He spoke with David Remnick in 2017.  </p>
Jun 08, 2018
Angélique Kidjo and David Byrne on “Remain in Light”
22:56
<p>When a young <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/amanda-petrusich">Amanda Petrusich</a>, now a staff writer who covers music, first heard Talking Heads’ “Remain in Light,” she felt “almost like it was being beamed in from outer space.” The record, released in 1980, was strikingly original—a hybrid of experimental rock, Afrobeat, and seventies funk, reimagined by a white American rock band and their English producer. Nearly forty years later, the Beninese pop star Angélique Kidjo has chosen to release her own, track-by-track cover version of “Remain in Light,” working with the producer Jeff Bhasker, who is known for his collaborations with Kanye West and Beyoncé. Kidjo has figuratively brought the record back to Africa, with lyrics in Yoruba and Fon, languages of her native Benin. Nonetheless, she is skeptical of the idea of cultural appropriation, broadly defined.  “Who are we to own any culture?” she asks. “Even our [own] culture doesn’t belong to us.” Petrusich spoke with Kidjo and with David Byrne, formerly of Talking Heads, about the impulses behind both versions, and the large influence of Fela Kuti. And the food correspondent Helen Rosner recommends a baking show, a book, and a perfect summer cake recipe.  </p> <p> </p>
Jun 05, 2018
Glenda Jackson Onstage, and Marco Rubio on “Modernizing” Conservatism
35:34
<p>Glenda Jackson, who has played both Queen Elizabeth and King Lear, served as a humble member of Parliament for more than two decades in between those roles; she talks with David Remnick about performing at eighty-two and about the state of British politics. And Marco Rubio talks with Susan B. Glasser about the threat of China and how to be a conservative in Trump’s Washington.  </p>
Jun 01, 2018
Malcolm Gladwell on the Sociology of School Shooters
24:52
<p>Malcolm Gladwell spoke with <em>The New Yorker’s </em>Dorothy Wickenden in 2015 about the social dynamics of school shootings. Studying the literature of sociology, Gladwell compares shootings to a riot, in which each person’s act of violence makes the next act slightly more likely. And David Remnick speaks with the Columbia professor Mark Lilla, whose book “The Once and Future Liberal” argues provocatively that identity politics and support for marginalized groups are costing the Democrats election after election. “We cannot do anything for these groups we care about if we do not hold power—it is just talk,” Lilla says. “An election is not about self-expression—it’s a contest.”</p> <p> </p> <p> </p>
May 29, 2018
Paul Schrader: Movies as Religion
31:16
<p>Paul Schrader made an auspicious début as the screenwriter of “Taxi Driver” and the director of “Blue Collar” and “American Gigolo.” But as Hollywood turned away from serious drama, Schrader struggled. Schrader is, above all, serious about filmmaking: the product of a strict Dutch Calvinist upbringing in which movies were forbidden, he first fell in love with directors like Robert Bresson and Ingmar Bergman— icons of the European, intellectual tradition in cinema. <em>The New Yorker</em>’s <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/richard-brody">Richard Brody</a> considers Schrader to be a true auteur and one of the greats of American film. They spoke about religion and movies on the occasion of Schrader’s new film, “First Reformed.” It stars Ethan Hawke as the troubled pastor of a small church, and it reflects Schrader’s obsession with morality in a fallen world. Plus: on-the-job horror stories from three great writers—Gillian Flynn, Akhil Sharma, and Alison Bechdel.</p>
May 25, 2018
The Breeders on Sexism, Drugs, and Rock and Roll
30:22
<p>This year, the original members of the Breeders—indie-rock royalty—are back together, twenty-five years after “Last Splash,” an album that fans regard as a classic. Kim Deal, Kelly Deal, Josephine Wiggs, and Jim MacPherson joined David Remnick in the studio to play songs off their new record, “All Nerve.” They also talk about the toll of drugs and alcohol, about playing together after decades, and about the persistence of sexism in rock. Kim Deal once said that “misogyny is the backbone of the music industry,” and she remains bitter about how badly female musicians are treated—even by their friends. She recalls a remark that Charles Thompson, who led the Pixies under the name Black Francis, once made about her.  “I’m paraphrasing … he said, ‘Kim, all she would have to do was smile and the crowd would erupt in cheers.’ Of course that’s going to bother me.” For Deal, this comment minimized her work as a musician: “I’m sweating, I’m almost going to pass out with the heat, I just threw up a little bit in my mouth, the misogynist tour driver did not get sanitary napkins so I’m probably bleeding a little down my leg right then. I’m doing downstrokes, really fast, exhausting music … at the same time I have to find the pitch of the song because I’m singing a melodic harmony on top of everything … All that is happening, [but] all I did was just sit there and smile, and the crowd was clapping because I smiled?”</p> <p><span><br>The Breeders performed “Off You” live at WNYC Studios.  </span></p>
May 22, 2018
Diplomacy on the Rocks in Iran and North Korea
24:26
<p><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/susan-b-glasser">Susan B. Glasser</a>, a staff writer for <em>The New Yorker</em> based in Washington, speaks with Wendy Sherman about the Trump Administration’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran deal. As the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs in the Obama Administration, Sherman helped write that agreement, and led the U.S. negotiating team in complex multilateral talks. She also has first-hand experience negotiating with the North Korean government, having visited Pyongyang with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright during the Clinton Presidency.  </p> <p>The Iran deal seemed to be working: in exchange for curbing its nuclear program, as the International Atomic Energy Agency subsequently verified, Iran got relief from sanctions. But Donald Trump lambasted the deal throughout his campaign and Presidency; he called it overly generous and vowed to withdraw from it. John Bolton, his recently appointed national security adviser, opposed the deal on the grounds that verification was not “infallible.” Sherman has a sobering question for the Trump Administration, which now wishes to negotiate with Kim Jong Un about North Korea’s nuclear program: “How in God’s name can any verification or monitoring of North Korea be infallible?” <span>And Evan Osnos speaks with Victor Cha, the top North Korea adviser to George W. Bush, about the mixed signals on diplomacy coming from Pyongyang.  Might the Trump Administration, eager for a foreign-policy win, be led into giving up too much?</span></p>
May 18, 2018
Dunya Mikhail on the Lives Stolen by ISIS
25:03
<p>Before she was placed on the list of Saddam Hussein’s enemies, the poet Dunya Mikhail worked as a journalist for the Baghdad <em>Observer</em>. In her new book, “The Beekeeper,” Mikhail tells the stories of dozens of Yazidi women who survived kidnapping and sexual slavery by the Islamic State, and the man—a beekeeper—who helped arrange their escapes. Plus, the novelist Michael Cunningham finds all of humanity on display in Washington Square Park, and the humorist Jack Handey asks the questions that have been baffling humorists since the beginning of time: What’s funny, and why?</p>
May 15, 2018
How to Contain the Threat of Russia
31:11
<p>Senator Mark Warner is the vice-chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is trying to explore the possibility of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign while avoiding a partisan blowup. Warner fears that that, with Russia, we’re confronting twenty-first-century threats with twentieth-century tools. And Simon Parkin, who writes about gaming for <em>The New Yorker</em>, reports on how military officers and diplomats predict world events using a game that’s something like a cross between Dungeons &amp; Dragons, Risk, and a rap battle.</p>
May 11, 2018
Glenn Close Doesn’t Play Evil (with One Exception)
19:05
<p>Last year, Glenn Close was on Broadway as Norma Desmond in “Sunset Boulevard,” reprising a role she had originally played in 1993. Since 1974, when she made her début on Broadway, she has won three Tony Awards and three Emmys, and has been nominated six times for an Oscar.  Like Desmond, many of Glenn Close’s characters could be described as “difficult”: sometimes scary and possibly insane, but, above all, just complicated. But Close bridles at the notion that any of them—even Alex Forrest, the unhinged lover she played unforgettably in “Fatal Attraction”— villains.  “I don’t think of them as evil,” Close said to <em>The New Yorker</em> staff writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/michael-schulman">Michael Schulman</a>,  at the New Yorker Festival in 2017. “The only evil character I’ve ever played was Cruella!”   </p>
May 08, 2018
Robert Caro on the Fall of New York
36:10
<p>In a career spanning more than forty years, the biographer Robert Caro has written about only two subjects.  But they’re very big subjects: Robert Moses, the city planner who brought much of New York under his control without holding elected office, in “The Power Broker”; and President Johnson, in “The Years of Lyndon Johnson,” of which Caro has completed four of a projected five volumes.  More than life histories, these books are studies of power, and of how two masters of politics bent democracy to their wills.</p> <p><br>Caro, who started out as a newspaper reporter, is a completist.  When he was writing about Johnson’s oath of office after the assassination of President Kennedy, Caro referred to a famous news photograph that showed twenty-six people in the room—and interviewed every person still living..  And when Caro realized he had forgotten the photographer, he interviewed him, too. This truly prodigious research is complemented by the elegance of Caro’s prose, which commands rhythm, mood, and sense of place in a way that resembles the work of a novelist.  When he appeared at the New Yorker Festival, in 2017, Caro was interviewed by one of the great novelists working today, Ireland’s <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/colm-toibin">Colm Tóibín</a>.</p>
May 04, 2018
Apocalypse Prepping, on a Budget
17:01
<p><span>Inspired by “<a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/01/30/doomsday-prep-for-the-super-rich">Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich</a>,” by <em>The New Yorker’s</em> Evan Osnos, <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/patricia-marx">Patricia Marx</a> gets herself ready for the apocalypse. The only problem: Marx is a writer, not a Silicon Valley mogul. She isn’t super-rich, or even regular-rich. Apocalypse prep on a budget, Marx discovers, is a whole other ball game. Plus: “I’m a Proud Nuclear-Missile Owner”—written by Teddy Wayne, and performed by Nick Offerman—takes the right to bear arms to a whole other level.</span></p>
May 01, 2018
ICE Comes to a Small Town in Tennessee
39:00
<p><span>This week, a reporter looks at a rural town where the largest immigration raid in a decade has ripped apart a community; Ronan Farrow talks about his reporting on Harvey Weinstein, which just won the Pulitzer Prize; and Jeffrey Toobin speaks with a romance novelist-turned-state lawmaker who hopes to become the governor of Georgia. She would be the first black woman to lead any state in the nation.</span></p>
Apr 27, 2018
Andrew Sean Greer’s “It’s a Summer Day”
38:42
<p>Last week, Andrew Andrew Sean Greer's novel "Less" won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction.  "Less" about a novelist in mid-life named Arthur Less, and his attempt to avoid the wedding of a younger ex-boyfriend by accepting invitations to literary events in other countries.  In 2017, The New Yorker published an excerpt from the book with the title “It’s a Summer Day.” Greer read from the excerpt on the New Yorker’s podcast <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/new-yorker-writers-voice-new-fiction-from-new-yorker/id1093570212?mt=2">The Writer’s Voice</a>, which features a short story from the magazine read by the author every week.  </p> <p> </p>
Apr 24, 2018
James Comey Makes His Case to America
74:32
<p>In a long career in law enforcement, the former F.B.I. Director James Comey aimed to be above politics, but in the 2016 election he stepped directly into it.  In his book, “A Higher Loyalty,” Comey makes the case to America that he handled the F.B.I. investigations into Hillary Clinton’s e-mails and Donald Trump’s campaign correctly, regardless of the consequences. Even after being fired by President Trump, the former F.B.I Director says he doesn’t dislike the President; he tells David Remnick that what he feels is more akin to sympathy.  Trump “has an emptiness inside of him, and a hunger for affirmation, that I’ve never seen in an adult,” Comey says. “He lacks external reference points. Instead of making hard decisions by calling upon a religious tradition, or logic, or tradition or history, it’s all, ‘what will fill this hole?’ ” As a result, Comey says, “The President poses significant threats to the rule of law,” and he chides Congressional Republicans for going along with the President’s aberrations. “What,” he rhetorically asks Mitch McConnell and others, “are you going to tell your grandchildren?”  Nevertheless, Comey remains hopeful about the resilience of American institutions. “There isn’t a ‘deep state,’ [but] there is a deep culture,” he believes. “It is [about] the rule of law and doing it the right way,” and it serves as “a ballast” during political turmoil. David Remnick’s interview with James Comey was taped live at New York’s Town Hall on April 19, 2018.</p>
Apr 20, 2018
A Trans Woman Finds Her True Face Through Surgery
25:18
<p><span>The staff writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/rebecca-mead">Rebecca Mead</a> recently observed the seven-hour surgery of woman she calls Abby.  (To protect her privacy, Abby’s real name was not used, and her voice has been altered in the audio of our story.)  Abby, who is trans, had undergone hormone therapy, but her strong facial features still led people to refer to her as male, which caused her severe emotional pain. She decided to undergo a reconstructive procedure called facial feminization surgery, in which a specialist would break and reshape her bones.  Mead spoke with Abby before and after the surgery about what it would mean for the world to see her as she sees herself. Plus: The poet Ada Limón moved to Kentucky and fell in love with horses all over again.</span></p>
Apr 17, 2018
Pope Francis the Disruptor
31:36
<p>As a conservative columnist at the New York <em>Times</em>, Ross Douthat fills the post once held by no less a figure than William Kristol.  A devout Catholic, Douthat opposes the progressive direction in which Pope Francis is leading the Church—to prioritize caring for poor people and migrants over opposing abortion and the culture of sexual revolution—even though he acknowledges to David Remnick that this puts him at odds with the Church’s emphasis on mercy.  In his new book, “To Change the Church: Pope Francis of the Future of Catholicism,” Douthat provocatively compares Francis to Donald Trump, painting him as a disruptive figure who is determined to bring change fast and damn the consequences. Plus: a lawyer and former baseball player explains why a new federal law targets the wages of minor league players.</p>
Apr 13, 2018
Frank Oz on Miss Piggy’s Secret Backstory and Jim Henson’s Legacy
24:02
<p>Frank Oz was a teenager when he started working with Jim Henson, the puppeteer and filmmaker behind the Muppets. Oz went on to create characters like Bert,  Cookie Monster, Miss Piggy, and Yoda from “Star Wars.”</p> <p><span>Michael Schulman is a contributor to <em>The New Yorker</em> and the magazine’s foremost authority on all things Muppet. He takes a trip uptown, to Frank Oz’s home in Manhattan, and talks with Oz about his most iconic characters, moving on after the death of Jim Henson, and what’s missing from today’s Muppets. Plus, <em>The New Yorker</em>’s Naomi Fry recommends three things not to miss on the Internet. </span></p>
Apr 10, 2018
Emma González at Home, and a Crown Prince Abroad
31:57
<p><span>Emma González is a survivor of the Parkland attack, and a leader of the #NeverAgain movement. She talks with David Remnick about the ways her life has changed since the shooting, and why activism comes naturally to the teens spearheading the new push for gun control. And Dexter Filkins talks with David Remnick about the dynamic Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia—a young, energetic reformer who is forging close ties with the Trump White House.</span></p>
Apr 06, 2018
How Not to Write a Caption
21:40
<p>Every week, a <em>New Yorker</em> cartoon is posted online and printed in the magazine <a href="https://contest.newyorker.com/">without a caption</a>, and thousands of people write in with their suggestions.  Readers vote on a winner, and the top pick is printed in the following issue. Willy Staley and Matt Jordan submit a caption pretty much every week, working as a team. They’ve been doing it for years, but they never win—and they probably never will. Their goal isn’t to write a winning caption; it’s to write the most wrong-headed, vulgar, and hilariously inappropriate caption possible. “There’s something to the typical <em>New Yorker</em> cartoon,” says Jordan. “It’s succinct, it tends to be clean, it tends to be on cue. We just try to curveball around that.” Using their failings in the official contest, they’ve built an online following for their <a href="http://shittynewyorkercartooncaptions.tumblr.com/">Tumblr</a> blog “Shitty New Yorker Cartoon Captions.” They sat down with <em>The New Yorker</em>’s cartoon editor, <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/emma-allen">Emma Allen</a>, to discuss what separates a typical losing caption from a truly shitty one.</p>
Apr 03, 2018
John Thompson vs. American Justice
55:32
<p>When police showed up to question John Thompson, he was worried that it was because he had sold drugs to an undercover cop.  When he realized they were investigating a murder, he could only laugh: “Shit, for real? Murder?”<br><br>Thompson was insistent on his innocence, but New Orleans prosecutors wanted a conviction for a high-profile murder, and they were not scrupulous about how they got it. Thompson quickly found himself on death row. Eighteen years later, just weeks before Thompson was due to be executed, his lawyers discovered that a prosecutor had hidden exculpatory evidence from the defense. Thompson had been set up. This was a violation of the Brady Rule, established by the Supreme Court, in 1963, to ensure fair trials. Ultimately, he was exonerated of both crimes, but his attempts to get a settlement from the district attorney’s office—compensation for his time in prison—were thwarted. Though an appeals court had upheld a fourteen-million-dollar settlement, the Supreme Court reversed the decision, declining to punish the D.A. for violating the Court's own ruling.</p> <p>Thompson’s case revealed fundamental imbalances that undermine the very notion of a fair trial.  Under the Brady Rule, prosecutors must share with the defense any evidence that could be favorable to the defendant.  But there is essentially no practical enforcement of this rule. In most states, prosecutors are the ones who hold the evidence and choose what to share, and disclosing exculpatory evidence makes their cases harder to win. We have absolutely no idea how many criminal trials are flawed by these violations.<br><br>The staff writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/andrew-marantz">Andrew Marantz</a>, his wife, Sarah Lustbader, of the Fair Punishment Project, and the producer Katherine Wells reported on John Thompson’s story and its implications. They spoke with the late John Thompson (who died in 2017), with his lawyers, and with Harry Connick, Sr., the retired New Orleans D.A. who, despite having tried very hard to have Thompson killed, remains unrepentant.</p> <p>This episode contains explicit language and may not be suitable for children.</p> <p> </p>
Mar 30, 2018
The American Bombs Falling on Yemen
35:53
<p>Abdulqader Hilal Al-Dabab was the mayor of Sana’a, a politician with a long record of mediating disputes in a notoriously fractious and dangerous country. Earlier in his career, he accepted a position at which his two predecessors had been assassinated; Hilal, as he was known, served in that post for seven years. By 2015, Yemen was at war and Sana’a had become the center of a brutally destructive bombing campaign by a coalition led by Saudi Arabia—with planes, arms, and logistical support from the United States. Hilal was trying to hold the city together, keeping the ambulances running and convincing parents to send their children to school. At the same time, he was trying to broker a ceasefire, using the skills he had cultivated in local government at a broader level. When the Saudis bombed a funeral gathering that Hilal was attending, he was killed and the country lost a bright hope for peace. <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/nicolas-niarchos">Nicolas Niarchos</a> talks with Hilal’s son about his father’s fate and what it says about the country’s future.</p> <p>Plus, Jia Tolentino visits the prize-winners at the Westminster dog show and tries to come to terms with the badly behaved mutt who’s wrecking her home.</p>
Mar 27, 2018
Scott Pruitt, the “Originalist” at the E.P.A.
21:02
<p>As the Attorney General of Oklahoma, Scott Pruitt sued the Environmental Protection Agency fourteen times, claiming that the Obama Administration had overreached with policies intended to curtail climate change—a phenomenon which Pruitt views skeptically. Then Donald Trump appointed him to run it. <em>The New Yorker’s</em> Margaret Talbot, who <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/04/02/scott-pruitts-dirty-politics">wrote</a> about Pruitt’s first year at the E.P.A., notes that Pruitt has cast his hostility to environmental protection as a form of populist resistance, even as it has gained him close allies in the fossil-fuel industry. Pruitt calls his approach at the E.P.A. “originalism”: he’s directed the agency to focus on dirty pollution, as it did back in the nineteen-seventies. Yet, as Talbot tells David Remnick, Pruitt is still quick to overrule regulation if it inconveniences polluting industries.</p> <p>Plus, <em>The New Yorker’s</em> critic of pop music, Carrie Battan, plays three tracks that have grabbed her attention lately.</p>
Mar 23, 2018
A Homemade Museum in a Refugee Camp
22:07
<p>Tens of thousands of refugees from the civil war in Yemen have fled across the narrow Mandeb Strait to Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa. <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/nicolas-niarchos">Nicolas Niarchos</a> reported for <em>The New Yorker</em> from Djibouti, where Yemeni refugees cross paths with Ethiopians escaping a devastating drought. In one camp, he met a man whom aid workers described as a kind of Peter Pan. Abdillahi Bashraheel was once a road surveyor in Yemen, and lost everything in the war. From the camp, he walks miles in the desert each day to pick up broken toys, electronics, wood, stone, and other bits and bobs. He arranges these objects in his tent to create what he calls his museum—a place of beauty and respite under desperate circumstances.</p> <p>Plus, Tracy K. Smith, the poet laureate says that “green space has fed the inner silence that I think most writers are seeking.”</p>
Mar 20, 2018
Armando Iannucci on “The Death of Stalin”
34:16
<p>As the fourth season of “Veep” came to an end, director Armando Iannucci turned from chronicling the foibles of cynical western democracy to something darker still: life under dictatorship.  He found his source material in the French graphic novel “The Death of Stalin.” David Remnick compares Iannucci’s new film to “Get Out”—a real horror story that is also a comedy of terror. “I wanted to take myself out of my comfort zone by taking on these themes that involved death, destruction, and paranoia,” Iannucci tells him. As the brutal dictatorships of the twentieth century fade into history, Iannucci wants to remind people—especially those frustrated with democracy—just how horrific totalitarianism really is.</p> <p>Plus, Svetlana Alexievich, who won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature for her oral histories about life in the U.S.S.R.</p> <p> </p>
Mar 16, 2018
In Secret, a North Korean Writer Protests the Regime
35:18
<p><span>Bandi is the pen name of a North Korean writer. He is believed to be a propaganda writer for the government who began to write, secretly, fiction and poems critical of the regime. (Details of his biography cannot be verified, because identifying him publically would put his life in jeopardy.) His work was smuggled out of the country in circumstances that resemble a spy novel, and has recently been published in the West. The New Yorker Radio Hour’s Mythili Rao has written about Bandi’s <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/a-collection-of-north-korean-stories-and-the-mystery-of-their-origins">fiction</a> and <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/reading-north-korean-poems-during-the-south-korean-olympics">poetry</a>. She spoke with the translator of the poems, a scholar of Korean culture named Heinz Insu Fenkl. Fenkl says the poems reflect a sophisticated approach that turns literary devices familiar to North Korean readers to subversive purposes.<br></span></p> <p><span>Plus, Curtis Sittenfeld talks with Joshua Rothman on why men should read romance novels.</span></p>
Mar 09, 2018
Christopher Steele, the Man Behind the Dossier
38:09
<p><span>The dossier—a secret report alleging various corrupt dealings between Donald Trump, his campaign, and the government of Russia, made public </span>after<span> the 2016 election—is one of the most hotly debated documents in Washington. The dossier’s author, Christopher Steele, is a former British spy working on contract, and went into hiding after its publication. “</span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/03/12/christopher-steele-the-man-behind-the-trump-dossier" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&amp;q=https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/03/12/christopher-steele-the-man-behind-the-trump-dossier&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1520439686462000&amp;usg=AFQjCNE2OJd8ygLf7_yDyb-nLMeqhmsOQg">The Man Behind the Dossier</a><span>,” Jane Mayer’s report on Steele, was just published in</span><span> </span><em>The New Yorker</em><span>. She </span>reports<span> that Steele is in the "unenviable predicament" of being hated by both Donald Trump and Vlad</span><strong>i</strong><span>mir Putin—and that he documented more evidence than he put in the dossier.</span></p>
Mar 06, 2018
Alone and on Foot in Antarctica
26:29
<p><span>Henry Worsley was a husband, father, and an officer of an élite British commando unit; also a tapestry weaver, amateur boxer, photographer, and collector of rare books, maps, and fossils. But his true obsession was exploration. Worsley revered the Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton and he had led a 2009 expedition to the South Pole. But Worsley planned an even greater challenge. At fifty-five, he set out to trek alone to ski from one side of the Antarctic continent to the other, hauling more than three hundred pounds of gear and posting an audio diary by satellite phone. The <em>New Yorker</em> staff writer David Grann <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/02/12/the-white-darkness">wrote about</a> Worsley’s quest, and spoke with his widow, Joanna Worsley, about the painful choice she made to support her husband in a mortally dangerous endeavor.<br></span></p>
Mar 06, 2018
Jennifer Lawrence on “Red Sparrow” and Times Up
29:08
<p><span>Jennifer Lawrence was nominated for her first Oscar at twenty, and since then she has balanced the biggest of big-budget franchises, like the “Hunger Games” and the “X-Men” series, with smaller, prestige films, including “Silver Linings Playbook” and “mother!” That has made her perhaps the most famous and the most celebrated actor of her generation. Lawrence has tended to shy away from nudity and sex on film, but in the new “Red Sparrow,” directed by Francis Lawrence, she tackles a role that combines two of today’s most critical issues: Russian espionage and sexual coercion at work. As a frequent target of tabloid journalists, trolls, and hackers, Lawrence is frustrated that so many people still want to punish successful women, but, she tells David Remnick, Hollywood itself is changing; and, despite the likely cost to her career, she intends to spend the next year off the set and working as an activist, speaking to young people about the importance of political engagement.<br><br>Plus, a look at the lobbyist who helped make Florida one of the most gun-friendly states in America.<br></span></p>
Mar 02, 2018
The New Yorker presents “The Brodies”
19:56
<p><span>Richard Brody hosts an alternative Oscars show — “The Brodies” —  and recommends some of his favorite films from the past year, and the writer Chang-rae Lee takes us to a sprawling international supermarket in Honolulu, Hawaii. </span></p>
Feb 27, 2018
Masha Gessen on Trump and Russia, and a Former Border Agent on the U.S.-Mexico Border
35:35
<p><span>Masha Gessen was born in the Soviet Union and has written extensively about Russian politics. She talks with David Remnick about the similarities between Putin’s Russia and Trump’s America. <em>The New Yorker’s </em>Sarah Stillman talks with a former Border Patrol officer, whose years on the job left him emotionally and physically depleted. And in a Shouts and Murmurs piece by Seth Reiss, the comedian Bill Hader plays a disgruntled server who’s got some strong feelings about the house-made ketchup.</span></p>
Feb 23, 2018
Director Ava DuVernay on “Selma” and “A Wrinkle in Time”
30:08
<p>No film adaptation of “A Wrinkle In Time,<strong>” </strong>Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved, and often banned, children’s book, published in 1962, has ever made it to American movie theaters. It finally comes to the screen next month, with a cast that includes Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon,. The director is Ava DuVernay, who wasn’t the obvious choice for a metaphysical fantasy epic. Best known for “Selma,” about the 1965 civil-rights march, DuVernay also made the documentary “13,” about the prison system, and the TV series “Queen Sugar.” But DuVernay tells the staff writer Jelani Cobb that she relished the opportunity to create a fantasy film. “You’re seeing worlds built through the point of view of a black woman from Compton,” she says. “So when I’m told, ‘Create a planet,’ my planet’s going to look different from my white male counterpart’s planet”—which is what Hollywood shows us “ninety-seven per cent of the time.”</p> <p>DuVernay and Cobb spoke at The New Yorker Festival in October, 2017.</p> <p> </p>
Feb 20, 2018
A Reckoning at Facebook
26:04
<p>We now know that Russian operatives exploited Facebook and other social media to sow division and undermine the election of 2016, and special counsel Robert Mueller recently indicted Russian nationals and Russian entities for this activity. During that period, however, Facebook executives kept their heads down, and the C.E.O., Mark Zuckerberg, denied and underplayed the extent of the damage. Now Zuckerberg is in a process of soul-searching, attempting to right Facebook’s missteps—even if it means less traffic to the site. Nicholas Thompson, the editor in chief of <em>Wired</em> (formerly the editor of <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/">NewYorker.com</a>), interviewed fifty-one current and former employees of Facebook for a <em>Wired</em> cover story, co-written with Fred Vogelstein, called “Inside the Two Years that Shook Facebook—and the World.” He tells David Remnick that the effort is not just lip service: for a business like Facebook, reputation really is everything. Plus, The New Yorker’s Director of Photography, Joanna Milter, on her true passion: the Cleveland Cavaliers.</p>
Feb 16, 2018
Ian Frazier Among the Drone Racers
24:54
<p><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/ian-frazier">Ian Frazier</a>, who has chronicled American life for <em>The New Yorker</em> for more than forty years, recently travelled to a house in Fort Collins, Colorado, where three roommates build, fly, and race drones. Jordan Temkin, Zachry Thayer, and Travis McIntyre are three of perhaps only fifty professional drone racers in the world, piloting the tiny devices through complex courses at upward of eighty miles an hour. Drones have had enormous impact on military strategy and the commercial applications seem limitless, but to these pilots drones exist in the strange overlap between pure adrenaline and big money that defines pro sports. Plus, the novelist <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/t-coraghessan-boyle">T. Coraghessan Boyle</a> grapples with the devastation wreaked by wildfires and mudslides, which took the lives of his neighbors and transformed swaths of his town into mud flats.</p>
Feb 13, 2018
Extremists on the Ballot, and America’s Endless War in Afghanistan
30:48
<p><span>The 2016 Presidential primaries were a rebuke to moderates in both parties. Bernie Sanders, a sometime Democratic Socialist, built a grassroots movement that bitterly rejected the centrist Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump, whose conservative credentials were deeply suspect, defeated sixteen Republican stalwarts. As the 2018 midterms approach, both parties are wrestling with the question of whether to rise with the tide of extremist sentiment, or run moderates to regain the center. Andrew Hall, an assistant professor of political science at Stanford, studies the effect of extremist candidates on elections. He tells <em>The New Yorker’s</em> <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/amy-davidson-sorkin">Amy Davidson Sorkin</a> that we may be asking the wrong question. Plus, the Pulitzer Prize winner <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/steve-coll">Steve Coll</a> on how the repeated failures of American intelligence and policy led to the nation’s longest and most intractable war.</span></p>
Feb 09, 2018
Ryan Zinke’s Deregulation Quest, and the Future of Meatless Burgers
23:18
<p class="p1">As a congressman from Montana, Ryan Zinke was considered a moderate—he resisted radical suggestions, for example, to turn over federal land to the states. But, as Secretary of the Interior, he is at the forefront of the Trump Administration’s push to rapidly roll back environmental regulations and expand mining, drilling, and commercial exploitation of all kinds. Zinke was instrumental in the recent decision to shrink Bears Ears National Monument, opening up enormous tracts of land to uranium mining. He has acted in seemingly petty ways, as well, including increasing litter by reintroducing the sale of plastic water bottles in national parks. <span>Elizabeth Kolbert</span> recently <span>wrote</span> about Zinke's tenure at the Interior Department. In assessing Zinke's and Trump's motives, she tells David Remnick, the most cynical interpretation is likely the right one.</p> <p class="p1"><br> Plus, a short primer that will finally explain bitcoin (not); and a food editor investigates a new veggie burger that supposedly looks, feels, and tastes like beef.</p>
Feb 06, 2018
Laura Kipnis on the State of #MeToo, and a Night at Richard Nixon’s
31:57
<p class="p1">Laura Kipnis is a professor at Northwestern University and a provocative feminist critic. Her book “Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus” states, “If this is feminism, it’s feminism hijacked by melodrama.” She has been accused of violating Title IX by creating a hostile environment for students to report harassment. Kipnis, who supports the movement, tells the staff writer <span>Alexandra Schwartz</span> that the grassroots power of public revelations is being hijacked by institutions in a power grab to control the lives of employees and students. The real feminist lesson of cases like Aziz Ansari’s much-discussed bad date, Kipnis thinks, is that that women as well as men need to reflect on how they conduct themselves in heterosexual relationships.</p>
Feb 02, 2018
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on Discovering America
30:13
<p>The novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has had commercial and critical success: Her best-seller “Americanah” won a National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction, and a speech she gave on feminism was sampled by Beyoncé. But Adichie is skeptical of fame, and not afraid to voice controversial opinions. At The New Yorker Festival in October, 2017, she spoke with David Remnick about how the left in this country seems “cannibalistic,” and how, as a Nigerian immigrant to America, she at first distanced herself from our country’s conception of blackness. America was complicated for Adichie: she appreciated the freedom from the social hierarchies back home, but she had imagined everything would be newer and shinier than it really was. Plus, the British folk musician Laura Marling tells John Seabrook about living in Los Angeles alongside the spirits of her musical idols, and performs her song “The Valley.”</p>
Jan 30, 2018
Nathan Lane, Getting Serious, Plays Roy Cohn
24:59
<p>Nathan Lane may be best known for supplying the voice of the fun-loving meerkat in “The Lion King,” but in recent years he’s turned his focus to more serious roles. Now he’s playing the villain, Roy Cohn, in a new production of Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America.” Lane sat down with <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/michael-schulman">Michael Schulman</a> at The New Yorker Festival in October, 2017, to talk about the real-life Cohn. A conservative attorney who denied that he was gay to the end of his life, Cohn served as Joseph McCarthy’s chief counsel during the crusade against Communism, as an adviser to Richard Nixon, and as a mentor to the young Donald Trump. Lane went to great lengths to understand the contradictions of Cohn’s life. “It’s easy to find people who hated him,” Lane tells Schulman. “But there were people who loved Roy Cohn.”<br> <br>“Angels in America” opens on Broadway in February.</p>
Jan 26, 2018
The Rise of the Ku Klux Klan
<p>The Ku Klux Klan was originally focused on maintaining the old racial order in the postwar South, chiefly through the violent suppression of African-Americans. But, in the nineteen-twenties, the Klan was reborn as a nationwide movement, targeting not only African-Americans but Jews, Catholics, Muslims, Mexican-Americans, and Asian immigrants. In the jingoistic years following the First World War, the Klan made discrimination the new patriotism. The Bancroft Prize-winning historian Linda Gordon charts this rebirth in “The Second Coming of the KKK.” She writes that millions of people joined the Klan in the span of just a few years, among them mayors, congressmen, senators, and governors; three Presidents were members of the Klan at some point before taking the office. Gordon tells David Remnick that the lessons for our current political moment are sobering. The writer Andrew Marantz, who covers media and politics for <em>The New Yorker</em>, explains how today’s alt-right manipulates something called the Overton Window to bring fringe ideas into the mainstream. Plus, the staff writer Troy Patterson shares three recent picks with David Remnick.    </p>
Jan 23, 2018
David Attenborough’s Planet (We Just Live on It)
<p>David Attenborough’s films for the BBC—impeccably researched, ambitiously filmed, and executed with style and imagination—have set a high bar for nature documentaries in our time. Over sixty years, his films have taught generations of us about the extraordinary diversity of life on the planet. His latest project is a seven-part survey of the world’s oceans, called “Planet Earth: Blue Planet II,” which débuts this week on BBC America. The series uses every technological advance, including drone-mounted and submersible cameras, to bring us closer to nature’s extremities. Attenborough talks with David Remnick about breaking precedent to give the film an overtly environmental message; about his determination at age ninety-one to keep working; and about the only creatures he really can’t stand. Plus, a look at how the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver finds spiritual meaning in the natural world.</p>
Jan 19, 2018
Deportation in America
55:08
<p>A tougher stance on immigration is the signature position of the Trump Administration, and the President’s first year in office has been marked by sharply increased arrests of unauthorized immigrants. In this hour we explore immigration and deportation from the perspective of a Wisconsin dairy farm, a conservative Washington think tank, and the mother of a deportee, as well as a sanctuary church where a woman is hiding in plain sight from immigration enforcement.    </p>
Jan 12, 2018
Tracee Ellis Ross on Being a “Black-ish” Woman and Jon Hamm Gets His Life Back from Don Draper
34:15
<p>Tracee Ellis Ross, who plays Dr. Rainbow Johnson on ABC’s “Black-ish,” joins Doreen St. Félix for a conversation about television, race, and self-acceptance. “Black-ish” has a reputation for breaking boundaries and tackling political and racial questions rarely discussed in prime time. But Ellis has found room to push back on the show’s treatment of her character as the wife on a family sitcom. And Jon Hamm won audiences over in “Mad Men” as Don Draper, the quintessential man’s man. “Navigating what the show became and navigating the success is the trickiest part of it,” he tells Susan Morrison. So he flexed his comedic muscles as often as possible, with roles in “Bridesmaids” as one of Kristen Wiig’s love interests (for which she wrote them a very long sex scene) and on “30 Rock” as Tina Fey’s too-handsome-for-real-life boyfriend. And his sensitive side is no put-on: as a young man, Hamm worked at a day-care center called Kids Depot, remembering that as a young child he had lacked male role models. “It felt nice to be that person I didn’t have in my life.”</p>
Jan 09, 2018
Jerry Seinfeld Gets Technical
21:06
<p>Jerry Seinfeld talks with David Remnick about his Netflix special “Jerry Before Seinfeld,” which is part standup show, part memoir. They discuss his “coming out” to his parents as a funny person, the labor that goes into an effortless joke, how cursing undercuts comedic craft; why George Carlin in a suit and tie was just as good as George Carlin the hippie; and why he thinks we esteem actors and writers too highly. Seinfeld compares his work as a comedian to that of John McPhee, <em>The New Yorker’s</em> elder statesman of long-form reporting. “He makes things out of ordinary life moments and making you see them in a different way,” Seinfeld says. “When he does it, it’s an art, because it’s the goddam <em>New Yorker</em>. When I do it it’s just an airlines peanuts joke.”</p> <p> </p>
Jan 05, 2018
Trolling the Press Corps
17:43
<p>Lucian Wintrich, a young blogger, was recently appointed as the White House correspondent for the conservative political site Gateway Pundit. He has no professional experience as a reporter and doesn’t claim any interest in landing big stories. His goal is to attack media outlets that he regards as leftist, and he doesn’t shy away from name-calling. The New Yorker’s Andrew Marantz questions Wintrich about trolling as a form of journalism. </p> <p><em>Originally aired on April 7, 2017. </em></p>
Jan 02, 2018
Jon Stewart’s Children
38:30
<p>In the years after September 11th, Jon Stewart’s “Daily Show” made political satire a central part of the media landscape. This hour, we hear from some of today’s leading practitioners: <em>The New Yorker’s</em> Andy Borowitz; Trevor Noah, of “The Daily Show”; Bassem Youssef, and the founders of Reductress. Plus, cartoonists Emily Flake and Drew Dernavich try out an escape room, along with the Radio Hour’s Sara Nics. </p> <p><em>Originally aired on April 7, 2017. </em></p>
Dec 29, 2017
Leonard Cohen: A Final Interview
31:32
<p>Leonard Cohen was one of the world’s greatest songwriters, and a figure of almost cult-like devotion for generations of fans, including Bob Dylan. David Remnick sat down with Cohen in the summer of 2016, at the musician’s home in Los Angeles to discuss Cohen’s career, his spiritual influences, his triumphant final tours, and what he was doing to prepare for his end. “I am ready to die,” Cohen said. He was already suffering from a number of health problems at the time and died in November 2016. “At a certain point, if you still have your marbles and are not faced with serious financial challenges, you have a chance to put your house in order. It’s a cliché, but it’s underestimated as an analgesic on all levels. Putting your house in order, if you can do it, is one of the most comforting activities, and the benefits of it are incalculable.” Plus, a 1952 poem by E.B. White brings Christmas greetings to misfits and oddballs the world over.</p>
Dec 26, 2017
Bonus: Holiday Greetings from Ian Frazier
5:35
<div><span>For decades, The New Yorker has published a poem on or around Christmas -- a look back at the events and people that have shaped the past year, generally light and fun; but in more difficult years it touches on quite serious themes as well.</span></div> <p><span>The humorist Frank Sullivan wrote the first "Greetings, Friends" back in 1935. Roger Angell wrote the poem</span> for many years.  And staff writer Ian Frazier has been writing it since 2012. Frazier reads his 2017 "Greetings, Friends" in this podcast bonus of the New Yorker Radio Hour.</p> <p><span><span><strong> </strong></span></span></p>
Dec 24, 2017
Children’s Letters to Satan, and a Changing of the Guard at the New York Times
23:47
<p>Every year, countless poor spellers accidentally address their Santa letters to Satan.  Satan—played by Kathleen Turner—always replies. <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/humor/daily-shouts/childrens-holiday-letters-satan">Matt Passet’s</a> Daily Shouts piece is performed by Kathleen Turner, in the role of Satan.  On January first, Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, who goes by A. G., will succeed his father Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr., as the publisher of the New York Times. At 37, A. G. is young for the job and he’s taking over one of the world’s most important news institutions at an extremely complicated time for the business of journalism. But he is not afraid of the future: his 2014 <a href="https://www.scribd.com/doc/224332847/NYT-Innovation-Report-2014">internal report to the Times’ leadership</a>, which Buzzfeed leaked to the world, is credited with jump-starting the paper’s transition into a digital-first news platform. David Remnick talks with Sulzberger about his apprenticeship at a small-town reporter, the “Trump bump,” and how long we can expect the print edition of the Times to remain.</p>
Dec 22, 2017
Nicolás Maduro on the Brink of Dictatorship
22:30
<p>Nicolás Maduro was an unlikely successor to Venezuela’s popular and charismatic Hugo Chavez. And, since his election, the country has been wracked with devastating food shortages, a breakdown of ordinary services and medical care, and rampant violence. But, as Maduro sees it, the real problem is his political opponents, and he has taken steps to secure control over all the branches of government, in order to establish a de-facto dictatorship. <em>The New Yorker’</em>s <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/jon-lee-anderson">Jon Lee Anderson</a> was recently granted a rare interview with the Venezuelan President, who told him of his country’s economic relationships with Russia and China. Anderson tells Dorothy Wickenden that he came away from the conversation with a renewed sense of the need for greater American engagement in Venezuela. “It is going through the sewer on our watch,” Anderson says. Plus, a visit to the library with Cristina Henriquez.</p>
Dec 19, 2017
The Alabama Fallout, and Louise Erdrich on the Future
33:28
<p>Roy Moore was a classic Trumpian candidate: a political outsider of extreme positions, rejected by the establishment and plagued by accusations of scandal. He eventually garnered the full support of Donald Trump, but Moore was finally too much for voters. A significant number of Republicans wrote other names on their ballots, and Democratic-leaning black voters turned out in force—a combination that gave Alabama its first Democrat to go to Washington in twenty years. David Remnick and the staff writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/amy-davidson-sorkin">Amy Davidson Sorkin</a> discuss what the outcome says about the President’s power and about voters’ feelings on sexual misconduct. With the recent calls for Al Franken’s resignation, congressional Democrats are trying to lay claim to the moral high ground, but Sorkin notes that the Party has yet to put the sins of Bill Clinton entirely behind it. Plus, an interview with Louise Erdrich, who says that she was inspired by Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” and by P. D. James’s “Children of Men”—works that put literature in the service of imagining the worst.    </p>
Dec 15, 2017
Don’t Worry, the Robots Can’t Do Your Job—Yet
23:16
<p>The business reporter <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/sheelah-kolhatkar">Sheelah Kolhatkar</a> has recently <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/10/23/welcoming-our-new-robot-overlords">written</a> for <em>The New Yorker</em> about a wave of advances in robotic technology that will have dangerous implications for our economy and political stability. As more and more factories automate, many workers have found employment in warehouses, performing jobs where human dexterity and brains still hold a strong edge over clumsy robots that can’t recognize unfamiliar objects very well. But as robots advance in gripping skills, visual recognition, and problem solving, a dangerous wave of unemployment may loom. Kolhatkar speaks with a roboticist, an economist, and the C.E.O. of a robotics company, Symbotic, which is taking the people out of warehouses. Symbotic’s robots don’t earn pay, they don’t need health insurance—they don’t even need lights or heating to operate.<br> <br>Plus, Fabio Bertoni, <em>The New Yorker’s</em> lawyer, reveals what he does on the very rare occasions when he’s not at work.</p>
Dec 12, 2017