Fresh Air

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Steve
 Dec 6, 2019


 Dec 2, 2019

Adam
 Dec 2, 2019
The host seems to ask some shockingly stupid questions.


 Oct 23, 2019


 Sep 27, 2019

Description

Fresh Air from WHYY, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Hosted by Terry Gross, the show features intimate conversations with today's biggest luminaries.

Episode Date
Attorney General William Barr's Unwavering Support Of Trump, Explained
2886
'New Yorker' editor David Rohde says Barr acts as Trump's political "sword and shield," which has made him the most feared, criticized and effective member of the president's cabinet. He talks about the attorney general with contributor Dave Davies.

Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews 'Star Trek: Picard,' dropping today on CBS All Access.
Jan 23, 2020
Inside Trump's Chaotic 'Den Of Destruction'
2964
Pulitzer Prize-winning 'Washington Post' reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker did over 200 interviews with Trump administration insiders. Their new book, 'A Very Stable Genius,' details presidential rages, erratic decision-making and other troubling tendencies of the Trump presidency.

Also, we remember Monty Python co-founder Terry Jones. He died yesterday at 77. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1987.
Jan 22, 2020
Actor Tim Roth
2989
The British actor can be seen in the Tarantino films 'Reservoir Dogs,' 'The Hateful Eight' and 'Pulp Fiction,' and the new movie 'The Song of Names.' His first onscreen role was a white supremacist skinhead in the 1982 TV movie 'Made in Britain.' "There were questions asked about it in Parliament," Roth says. "It took me by surprise. I got chased by skinheads down the road in London."

Also, Ken Tucker reviews Marcus King's solo album, 'El Dorado.'
Jan 21, 2020
'Just Mercy' Lawyer Asks America To Reckon With Its Racist Past & Present
2898
Public interest attorney Bryan Stevenson is the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, which represents people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced or abused in state jails and prisons. In 2018, EJI founded a museum and monument in Montgomery, Ala., to address the atrocities of slavery, lynching and segregation. "We need to create institutions in this country that motivate more people to say 'Never again,'" he says. Stevenson's 2014 memoir 'Just Mercy' is now a movie starring Michael B. Jordan.
Jan 20, 2020
Best Of: Martin Scorsese / 'Boys & Sex'
3007
Martin Scorsese's latest film, 'The Irishman,' is up for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. He spoke with Terry Gross about childhood, redemption and getting kicked out of seminary school.

Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews, 'Ow!,' a newly resurfaced live recording of saxophonists Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis and Johnny Griffin.

Peggy Orenstein's new book, 'Boys & Sex,' is based on extensive interviews with more than 100 college and college-bound boys between the ages of 16 and 22. "When I was doing ['Girls & Sex'] the kind of core issue with girls was that they were being cut off from their bodies and not understanding their bodies' response and their needs and their limits and their desires," she says. "With boys, it felt like they were being cut off from their hearts."
Jan 18, 2020
'Why Religion?' Asks 'How Hearts Can Heal' After Tragedy
2900
Religion scholar Elaine Pagels lost her young son to terminal illness and her husband a year later in an accident. Her book, 'Why Religion?,' combines memoir and biblical scholarship to reflect on loss and faith. It's now out in paperback.

Also, we remember late spiritual leader Ram Dass. In the '60s and '70s, Dass, along with Timothy Leary, became interested in the religious potential of LSD. He was a practitioner of Eastern-inspired philosophy, and was careful to distance himself from corruption and cult-like behavior of other gurus. Dass spoke with Terry Gross in 1990.

John Powers marks the 100th anniversary of Italian neorealist director Federico Fellini's birth.
Jan 17, 2020
Iran's Secret Influence On Iraq
2884
'Intercept' Senior National Security Correspondent James Risen says new documents show how Iran has embedded itself in the politics of its neighbor, Iraq — and that the late Gen. Soleimani oversaw Iran's proxy wars in Iraq and Syria.

Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews 'Seven Worlds, One Planet,' a BBC nature docuseries.
Jan 16, 2020
Martin Scorsese
2949
Scorsese's latest film, 'The Irishman,' is up for 10 Academy Awards, including best picture and best director. He spoke with Terry Gross about death, redemption and his biggest flop.

Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews the WWI epic '1917.'
Jan 15, 2020
The 'Fixers' That Created President Trump
2897
Reporters Joe Palazzolo and Michael Rothfeld won a Pulitzer for their investigation of Trump's 2016 hush money payments to Karen McDougal and porn star Stormy Daniels. Their new book is 'The Fixers: The Bottom-feeders, Crooked Lawyers, Gossipmongers, and Porn Stars Who Created the 45th President.'

Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'American Dirt,' Jeanine Cummins' literary thriller about the treacherous journey a migrant mother takes with her son.
Jan 14, 2020
The Murderous Coup of 1898 & The Rise of White Supremacy
2980
In the 1890s, Wilmington, N.C. was a mixed-race community with a thriving black middle class, black aldermen and police officers, and a black newspaper. White supremacists saw this as an abomination, and plotted a bloody purge around the 1898 election. They rampaged through the streets, killing 60 black men, and banished prominent black people and their white allies from the city. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Zucchino tells the story in his new book, 'Wilmington's Lie.'

Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews, 'Ow!,' a newly resurfaced live recording of saxophonists Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis and Johnny Griffin.
Jan 13, 2020
Best Of: 'Joker' Dir. Todd Phillips / Andrea Bernstein on 'American Oligarchs'
3031
'Joker' is an origin story for the villain in the Batman series, but director Todd Phillips says it's not a comic book movie. "It really started as an experiment, so to speak. ... Maybe you could get one of those deep-dive character study movies done nowadays in the studio system if you disguise it as a comic book film."

Author Andrea Bernstein, co-host of the podcast 'Trump, Inc.' and the author of the new book 'American Oligarchs,' talks with Terry Gross about the family histories of both the Trumps and the Kushners — and their "marriage of money and power."

John Powers reviews HBO's adaptation of Stephen King's thriller 'The Outsider.'
Jan 11, 2020
Remembering 'Graduate' Screenwriter Buck Henry
2943
Buck Henry, who died Jan. 8, co-wrote the film 'Get Smart' with Mel Brooks and made regular appearances as a guest host on 'Saturday Night Live' in the show's early years. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1997 at the New York Film Forum about his masterpiece, 'The Graduate.'

Also, we remember jazz trumpeter Jack Sheldon. He sang with Benny Goodman and was bandleader and sidekick for Merv Griffin's talk show for many years. He spoke with 'Fresh Air' in 1993.

John Powers reviews HBO's adaptation of Stephen King's thriller 'The Outsider.'
Jan 10, 2020
The Future Of America's Contest With China
2927
'New Yorker' staff writer Evan Osnos says that China is building up its military, and Pentagon analysts now believe it could defeat U.S. forces in a confrontation along its borders. "China is the big story we don't talk about every day," Osnos says. "It's the fact of American political and diplomatic life we'll be contending with for most of the rest of this century."
Jan 09, 2020
The Trumps & Kushners, 'American Oligarchs'
2894
Author Andrea Bernstein, co-host of the podcast 'Trump, Inc.' and the author of the new book 'American Oligarchs' talks with Terry Gross about the family histories of both the Trumps and the Kushners, and their "marriage of money and power."

Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews a new anthology of Jean Stafford novels.
Jan 08, 2020
'Boys & Sex'
2913
Peggy Orenstein's new book, 'Boys & Sex,' is based on extensive interviews with more than 100 college and college-bound boys between the ages of 16 and 22. "When I was doing ['Girls & Sex'] the kind of core issue with girls was that they were being cut off from their bodies and not understanding their bodies' response and their needs and their limits and their desires," she says. "With boys, it felt like they were being cut off from their hearts." Orenstein talks about hookup culture, homophobia, and the effects of internet porn.

Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews 'Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist' on NBC.
Jan 07, 2020
'Joker' Director Todd Phillips
2956
'Joker' is an origin story for the villain in the Batman series, but director Todd Phillips says it's not a comic book movie. "It really started as an experiment, so to speak. ... Maybe you could get one of those deep-dive character study movies done nowadays in the studio system if you disguise it as a comic book film." Phillips talks about the score, working with Joaquin Phoenix, and the divisive reaction to the movie.
Jan 06, 2020
Jordan Peele / Francis Ford Coppola
3005
We close out our 'Best of the Decade' series with two of our favorite film directors. Jordan Peele made his directorial debut in 2017 with the "social thriller" 'Get Out.' Francis Ford Coppola, also spoke with Terry Gross in 2017 about the studio battle that went on behind-the-scenes of his 1972 movie 'The Godfather.'
Jan 04, 2020
Patti Smith / Bruce Springsteen
2850
Our Best of the Decade series continues with two music icons. First, Patti Smith spoke with Terry Gross in 2010 about 'Just Kids,' her memoir about her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. And then we listen back to part of Bruce Springsteen's 2016 conversation about his memoir, 'Born to Run.'
Jan 03, 2020
Ta-Nehisi Coates / Toni Morrison
2931
Our Best of the Decade series continues with two of the most influential writers of our time. In 2015, Coates discussed his book 'Between the World and Me.' Formatted as a letter to his son, Coates writes about the different forms of violence young African Americans face on the street, in school and from the police. Morrison, who died in 2019, spoke with Terry Gross in 2015 about aging and regret.
Jan 02, 2020
In Concert: Carolina Chocolate Drops / Catherine Russell / Jon Batiste
2879
Our Best of the Decade series continues with three music interviews. Carolina Chocolate Drops are a old-time string band from Durham, N.C. Jazz singer Catherine Russell sang back-up for Paul Simon, David Bowie and Jackson Browne. Jon Batiste is the bandleader for 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.'
Jan 01, 2020
Howard Stern / Joan Rivers
3043
Our Best of the Decade series continues with two irreverent New Yorkers. Stern, the "King of All Media," spoke with Terry Gross this year about how he evolved from his early shock-jock days. Also, we listen back to a 2010 interview with the late comic Joan Rivers about being a pioneer for women in comedy.
Dec 31, 2019
Anthony Bourdain / Columnist David Carr
2937
Our Best of the Decade series continues with two giants of the media world we lost too soon. Chef-turned-travel-host Anthony Bourdain took us around the world with CNN's 'Parts Unknown.' He died in 2018. David Carr was the media columnist for 'The New York Times.' He died in 2015. And linguist Geoff Nunberg reveals his word of the year.
Dec 30, 2019
Best Of: Adam Sandler & Safdie Bros. On 'Uncut Gems' / Best TV Of 2019
3019
Adam Sandler plays a jewelry store owner who's deep in debt in a new thriller, 'Uncut Gems,' by writer/directors Josh and Benny Safdie. The movie was inspired by the brothers' father, who worked in the NYC diamond district.

John Powers shares his "Ghost List" of things he wished he reviewed during the year. Also, TV critic David Bianculli talks with Terry Gross about his favorite TV of 2019.
Dec 30, 2019
Lin-Manuel Miranda On 'Hamilton' / 'Book Of Mormon' Creators Trey Parker & Matt Stone
2991
As part of our Best of the Decade series, we listen back to interviews about two Broadway phenomena. First we hear from 'Hamilton' creator Lin-Manuel Miranda about how his "mixed tape" musical came together. And we revisit to our interview with 'South Park' creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone about their outrageous show about Mormon missionaries in Uganda.
Dec 27, 2019
Meryl Streep / Carrie Fisher
3075
This week, we are listening back to some of our favorite interviews from the past decade. We listen back to our 2012 and 2016 interviews with Meryl Streep. Also, Carrie Fisher spoke with Terry Gross about 'The Princess Diarist,' her memoir based on the journal she kept while filming the 'Star Wars' movies.
Dec 26, 2019
Rosemary Clooney In Concert
3025
To celebrate Christmas, we listen back to a concert given by the late singer and actress in 1997. Clooney spoke with Terry Gross about her childhood, being on the road as a young performer with her sister, and working with Bing Crosby.
Dec 25, 2019
A Roots & Rockabilly Holiday Concert
2993
Singer-songwriter JD McPherson never thought he'd make a Christmas album. Then, he says, "I got a bug in my ear." He and his band perform live in studio from 'Socks,' and McPherson talks about growing up on a cattle farm in Oklahoma. And critic Ken Tucker reviews Tyler Childers' album, 'Country Squire.'
Dec 24, 2019
2019 In TV & Film
2971
TV critic David Bianculli and film critic Justin Chang sit down with Terry Gross to share their top 10 lists and talk about larger themes. And John Powers shares his "Ghost List," the books, TV, music and movies he didn't get to review in 2019.
Dec 23, 2019
Best Of: Charlize Theron / Best Albums Of 2019 / Julie Andrews
3092
Charlize Theron's new film, 'Bombshell,' follows the women of Fox News who accused then-CEO Roger Ailes of sexual harassment. She talks about playing former Fox anchor Megyn Kelly and growing up in apartheid-era South Africa.

Rock critic Ken Tucker shares his favorite albums of 2019 — which all happen to be made by women.

Julie Andrews talks about her career and family life with Terry Gross. "It was what it was: Chaotic, loving, crazy, wonderful, terrible," she says. She's joined by her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, who reflects on what it was like growing up with Mary Poppins as your mom. The mother/daughter duo chronicle Andrews' early years in Hollywood in a new memoir, 'Home Work.'
Dec 21, 2019
Author Investigates His Family Ties To Jimmy Hoffa's Disappearance
2872
Jack Goldsmith's memoir 'In Hoffa's Shadow' centers on his investigation into his stepfather's involvement in the 1975 disappearance of mob-connected labor leader Jimmy Hoffa. Hoffa is portrayed by Al Pacino in Martin Scorsese's new Netflix film 'The Irishman.' (Originally broadcast Oct. 2019)

Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews Greta Gerwig's new adaptation of 'Little Women.'
Dec 20, 2019
Adam Sandler & The Safdie Bros. On 'Uncut Gems'
2932
Sandler plays a jewelry store owner who's deep in debt in a new thriller by writer/directors Josh and Benny Safdie. The movie was inspired by the brothers' father, who worked in the NYC diamond district.
Dec 19, 2019
The 'Fundamentally Flawed' War In Afghanistan
2994
After a 3-year legal battle, 'The Washington Post' obtained a trove of government documents, unpublished notes and interviews that reveals U.S. officials misled the public about the course of the war. 'Post' reporter Craig Whitlock says candid comments by American military and diplomatic personnel depict muddled strategic thinking and jaw-dropping dysfunction in the war effort.
Dec 18, 2019
Julie Andrews & Her Daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton
3032
Andrews talks about her career and family life with Terry Gross. "It was what it was: Chaotic, loving, crazy, wonderful, terrible," she says. She's joined by her eldest daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, who reflects on what it was like growing up with Mary Poppins as your mom: "It was sometimes difficult to share her." The mother/daughter duo chronicle Andrews' early years in Hollywood in a new memoir, 'Home Work.'

Also, we remember 'Do the Right Thing' actor Danny Aiello who died Dec. 12. He spoke with 'Fresh Air' in 1992.
Dec 17, 2019
Charlize Theron
2940
Theron has direct experience with what she calls the "psychological damage" of sexual harassment. Her new film, 'Bombshell,' follows the women of Fox News who accused then-CEO Roger Ailes of inappropriate behavior. Theron talks about transforming her face to play anchor Megyn Kelly, confronting the man who harassed her earlier in her career, and growing up in apartheid-era South Africa.
Dec 16, 2019
Best Of: What happens To Stuff You Donate? / 'Maisel' Actor Alex Borstein
3037
"Your average thrift store in the United States only sells about one third of the stuff that ends up on its shelves," Adam Minter says. "The rest of the stuff ends up somewhere else." His book, 'Secondhand,' follows the things that don't sell — from cheap and soiled clothes to old gym equipment.

Film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Uncut Gems.'

Alex Borstein's won back-to-back Emmys for playing a tough, street-wise talent manager on the Amazon series, 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.' She says the character reminds her of her mother and grandmother.
Dec 14, 2019
Comic Wanda Sykes
2961
Before Sykes became a comic, she worked at the NSA and had top security clearance. Now she takes on the president in her Emmy-nominated Netflix special 'Not Normal.' (Originally broadcast Aug. 2019.)

Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews Bernardine Evaristo's nuanced and entertaining Booker Prize-winning novel 'Girl, Woman, Other.'
Dec 13, 2019
Medicare For All, Explained
3015
'New York Times' investigative reporter Sarah Kliff talks about the costs and challenges of switching to a universal healthcare system — and what it might mean to eliminate private insurance entirely. "There's this whole infrastructure of healthcare that other countries didn't have to confront when they built their universal systems in the 1940s and '50s," Kliff says.

Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Uncut Gems,' starring Adam Sandler.
Dec 12, 2019
Conan O'Brien
2925
O'Brien recently switched up the format of his late-night show, and has launched the second season of his podcast, 'Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend.' He says the name of his podcast is a joke — sort of. "Sometimes when you're in the public eye, it can get murky as to who's really my friend. Who's going to come visit me in the hospital? Who's going to come over to my house when my dog dies and drink cocoa with me? Who are those people?" He also talks about his unusual career trajectory, and how his comedy has been driven in part by anxiety.

Also, contributor Soraya Nadia McDonald reviews the movie 'Hala' on Apple TV+. It's a coming-of-age film about a Pakistani American teenager in Chicago.
Dec 11, 2019
Trump & His Generals
3032
CNN analyst Peter Bergen reflects on Trump's soured relationships with Generals Mattis, McMaster and Kelly. "He's gotten rid of the most competent people he had in his circle," Bergen says. "Trump is now running his cabinet like he ran his real estate company. ... It's a bunch of yes men supporting a one-man show." His book is 'Trump and His Generals: The Cost of Chaos.'

Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews 'Trio Plus,' from Todd Marcus.
Dec 10, 2019
'Maisel' Actor Alex Borstein
2955
Borstein's won back-to-back Emmys for playing a tough, street-wise talent manager on the Amazon series, 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.' She says the character reminds her of her mother and grandmother. She talks about her roles on 'Mad TV,' 'Getting On,' and being the comic relief in her family.

Also, critic Ken Tucker picks his top 10 albums of 2019 — all by women.
Dec 09, 2019
Best Of: Edward Norton / 10 Best books / David Harbour
3018
Edward Norton wrote, directed and stars in the film noir 'Motherless Brooklyn,' about a private investigator with Tourette's syndrome who discovers corruption in the world of New York City planning. He talks about the movie and his own personal connection to the world of urban planning.

Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan picks her top 10 books of 2019.

David Harbour talks about working alongside teen actors in 'Stranger Things,' and his bipolar disorder. "Acting allowed me to channel this neurosis into a character," he tells 'Fresh Air' producer Sam Briger.
Dec 07, 2019
Symphony Conductor M. Tilson Thomas
2938
This weekend Tilson Thomas will receive the Kennedy Center Lifetime Artistic Achievement award. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1995 and 2012 about his work and growing up in the theater.

Also we remember Mary Previte, who worked for 30 years with teenagers in detention in Camden, NJ where the center she ran became a model for others across the country. "We took terror out of their lives," she says, "When boys and girls come in, one of the first messages the officers will say is, 'We will not let you hurt somebody while you're here, and we will not let anyone hurt you.'" Previte died last month at the age of 87.
Dec 06, 2019
What Ukraine's President Thinks Of Trump, Putin & The Impeachment Hearings
3006
After six months in office, Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky is "quite cynical" and feels "there are no reliable allies," journalist Simon Shuster says. Shuster recently interviewed Zelensky for 'Time.'

Also, John Powers reviews the French film, 'Portrait of a Lady on Fire.'
Dec 05, 2019
What Happens To The Stuff You Donate?
2949
"Your average thrift store in the United States only sells about one third of the stuff that ends up on its shelves," Adam Minter says. "The rest of the stuff ends up somewhere else." His book, 'Secondhand,' follows the things that don't sell — from cheap and soiled clothes to old gym equipment.

Also, Ken Tucker reviews a new album from Hootie & the Blowfish, their first in over a decade.

The best way to support Fresh Air is by donating to your local station. Go to donate.npr.org/freshair.
Dec 04, 2019
Living At The 'Interface Of Life And Death'
3054
When BJ Miller was a college sophomore he was out late with some friends and climbed onto a parked commuter train. In a freak accident, he was electrocuted and eventually lost both legs below the knee and half of one arm. The experience led him to pursue a career in end-of-life care and palliative medicine, which he describes as "the treatment of suffering." He talks about how he draws inspiration from his disability, and how he helps patients in their final moments. His book is 'A Beginners Guide to the End.'

Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan picks her top 10 books of 2019.

The best way to support Fresh Air is by donating to your local station. Go to donate.npr.org/freshair.
Dec 03, 2019
'Stranger Things' Actor David Harbour
2959
Harbour talks about working alongside teen actors in 'Stranger Things,' and his bipolar disorder. "Acting allowed me to channel this neurosis into a character," he tells 'Fresh Air' producer Sam Briger. Harbour plays the skeptical police chief of a sleepy town besieged by supernatural events in the Netflix series.

Also, we remember late 'New Yorker' cartoonist Gahan Wilson. When Terry Gross spoke with Wilson in 1986, he told her he was fascinated by monsters and thought they were great metaphors for human fears and weaknesses.
Dec 02, 2019
Best Of: Novelist Kevin Wilson / Actor Willem Dafoe
3014
For novelist Kevin Wilson, Tourette's syndrome means living with intrusive thoughts that flash disturbing images without warning. His novel, 'Nothing to See Here,' was inspired by visions of people bursting into flames. Wilson talks about his experience of Tourette's and how writing gives him a reprieve from his tics.

Also, Kevin Whitehead reviews some reissues of music performed by the late jazz pianist Erroll Garner.

Willem Dafoe has played villains, soldiers, van Gogh and Jesus. He's earned four Oscar nominations and appeared in more than 100 films — including, most recently, 'Motherless Brooklyn' and 'The Lighthouse.' He talks about being a 'good bad guy.'
Nov 30, 2019
Director Marielle Heller On Mister Rogers & Telling Kids The Truth
2912
"He wasn't afraid of any of the hardest parts of childhood," Marielle Heller says. Her film, 'A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,' centers on Fred Rogers' unlikely friendship with a cynical journalist. Heller talks about casting Tom Hanks as Rogers, capturing his slow style of speaking, and a profound experience she had with her young son because of the show. (Originally aired Nov. 20, 2019)
Nov 29, 2019
Prince's Co-Writer Reflects On Posthumous Memoir
3006
Prince died in 2016, leaving behind an unfinished memoir. Dan Piepenbring, his co-writer, recalls the moment he knew he could make 'The Beautiful Ones' happen — even in Prince's absence. (Originally aired Oct 28, 2019)
Nov 28, 2019
Actor Edward Norton
2895
Norton wrote, directed and stars in the film noir 'Motherless Brooklyn,' about a private investigator with Tourette's syndrome who discovers corruption in the world of New York City planning. Urban planning is a subject Norton is passionate about. His grandfather was the idealistic developer and planner James Rouse, who designed Faneuil Hall in Boston, and the Baltimore Inner Harbor. Norton talks about his film and his grandfather's legacy with Terry Gross.
Nov 27, 2019