The New Yorker Radio Hour

By WNYC Studios and The New Yorker

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

Episode Date
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
I Work Hard and I Play Soft
2:25
<p>The most ruthless shark who ever sat in a corner office might just have a softer side. <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/03/25/i-work-hard-and-i-play-soft">Teddy Wayne’s piece</a> for <em>The New Yorker’s</em> Shouts &amp; Murmurs was performed for Radio Hour by Ed Helms, the actor formerly of “The Office” and more recently of the film “Chappaquiddick.”  </p>
Jun 15, 2018
Amanda Petrusich on the Summer Music Festivals Worth Sweating For
7:20
<p>Summer means, among other things, outdoor music festivals. All across the country, by the hundreds, music festivals of every genre pack thousands of mostly young people onto huge fields to see back-to-back concerts while trying to avoid heatstroke. The <em>New Yorker</em> staff writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/amanda-petrusich">Amanda Petrusich</a> tells David Remnick about three that might be worth sweating for: Sonic Seasonal, in Philadelphia; the Pitchfork festival in Chicago; and Pickathon, in Happy Valley, Oregon.</p>
Jun 15, 2018
The Koch Brothers Say No to Tariffs
10:43
<p>Charles and David Koch are two of the ten richest Americans. They’ve been major donors to conservative and libertarian causes, funding candidates for office, the Tea Party movement, and even university economics departments. They sat out Donald Trump’s campaign for President, characterizing his race against Hillary Clinton as the choice between cancer and a heart attack. Now Trump has promised a wave of tariffs on products from China, Mexico, Canada, and the European Union, which violates their principles and would hurt the business of Koch Industries.  <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/jane-mayer">Jane Mayer</a> has reported on the Kochs and their political activities for years. She tells David Remnick that the brothers plan to spend thirty million dollars on advertising against the tariffs, right as the midterm elections offer voters a referendum on the Trump Presidency. But, as much as trade is a flash point in the Republican Party, Mayer thinks that, in the most critical areas of environmental deregulation and corporate taxes, the Kochs have every reason to be satisfied with the Administration.  </p>
Jun 15, 2018
James Wood Is Done “Prosecuting Wars”
17:13
<p>When <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/james-wood">James Wood</a> joined <em>The New Yorker</em> as a literary critic, he promised that he wouldn’t “go soft”: he was 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 a 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 enesrgetic 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
The Comedian Hannah Gadsby Goes Big Time, and Renounces Comedy
15:21
<p>Hannah Gadsby is a headlining comedian in Australia and a regular at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Now she 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, it’s a carefully structured critique of standup comedy. “Nanette” reflects her experiences as an overweight woman, a lesbian, a native of Tasmania, and an adult diagnosed with autism; it 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.  </p>
Jun 15, 2018
Hannah Gadsby Against Comedy, and James Wood on Writing a Novel
55:37
<p>Hannah Gadsby talks with Emily Nussbaum about “Nanette,” a full-length comedy show that’s a critique—and a renunciation—of comedy.  Jane Mayer looks at the tension between the Koch brothers and Donald Trump’s economic policy; James Wood explains why he’s done “prosecuting wars”; and Amanda Petrusich suggests three outdoor festivals worth sweating for.  </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
Another Fiasco for American Soccer
13:17
<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.  </p>
Jun 08, 2018
Tangier Island, On the Front Lines of Climate Change
20:38
<p>Residents of Tangier Island, in the Chesapeake Bay, live through each hurricane season in fear of a major storm that would decimate their land. With its highest point only four feet above sea level, the island loses ground to erosion every year, and its residents may be among the first climate-change refugees of the United States. “I do believe in climate change,” Trenna Moore, a schoolteacher, says. “But I believe in what it says: centimeters a year. We’re losing feet.” <em>The New Yorker’s</em> <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/carolyn-kormann">Carolyn Kormann</a> and the Radio Hour’s Sara Nics travelled to the island, and spent time with James Eskridge, a commercial crabber and mayor of the town of Tangier, Virginia. A stalwart supporter of Donald Trump, Eskridge told the President of the residents’ desire for a seawall around the entire island. Based on his own observations, Eskridge disputes the entire scientific community that sea-level rise is a threat, but he sees that the danger is real: “If we were to get a hurricane to come in, it would wipe out the whole harbor here, and probably a good chunk of the island.”</p> <p><em>Originally broadcast on December 4, 2017</em></p>
Jun 08, 2018
Headlines You May Have Missed
3:30
<p>Bob Odenkirk isn’t a newshound, although he did once play one in a movie: the reporter Ben Bagdikian in “The Post.” In his downtime on set, the actor has been catching up on the news that most of us missed in the Trump-dominated cycle—and he has a few things to share. <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/bob-odenkirk">Odenkirk</a> wrote “Headlines You May Have Missed” for <em>The New Yorker</em>’s Shouts &amp; Murmurs, and he performed it for the New Yorker Radio Hour.  </p>
Jun 08, 2018
In the Civil Service, Loyalty Now Comes Before Expertise
17:15
<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.</p>
Jun 08, 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
Another Fiasco for American Soccer
55:22
<p>Roger Bennett, an English sports commentator who loves American soccer, explains why he’s feeling a little abashed by his team’s ignominious failure to qualify for the World Cup. Evan Osnos interviews a high-ranking civil servant who was “turkey-farmed” by the Trump Administration. We visit Tangier Island, in Virginia, where every hurricane season is an existential threat. And Bob Odenkirk, who played a newsman in “The Post,” reminds you of some headlines you may have missed.</p>
Jun 08, 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, Retired from Parliament, Returns to Broadway
14:26
<p>In this country, the best-known actors to enter politics are probably Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger. In the U.K., though, the precedent is a little different. Glenda Jackson was a Tony nominee and a winner of two Oscars (for her roles in “Women in Love” and “A Touch of Class”) when she gave up acting, in 1992. Reacting to the impact of Thatcherism, Jackson ran for a seat in Parliament, representing a district in the London area, and served in the Labour Party for more than twenty years. After stepping down, she returned to theatre and is now nominated for another Tony for the role of A in Edward Albee's “Three Tall Women.” She talks with David Remnick about her long-ago difficulties with Albee, the emotional demands of his work, and the state of British politics.  </p>
Jun 01, 2018
Helen Rosner Picks Three
6:14
<p><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/helen-rosner">Helen Rosner</a> is a food correspondent for <em>The New Yorker</em>’s website, writing about trends, recipes, and culinary culture on TV and everywhere else. (She nearly broke the Internet this spring when she <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/culture/annals-of-gastronomy/yes-i-use-a-hair-dryer-to-make-roast-chicken">suggested</a> using a hair dryer to prepare a chicken for roasting.)  She recommends “Nailed It,” a baking show like no other; “The Sausage of the Future,” a possibly-tongue-in-cheek design book; and a no-fail cake recipe that’s perfect for summer. </p>
Jun 01, 2018
Angélique Kidjo and David Byrne on “Remain in Light”
16:20
<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.</p>
Jun 01, 2018
Marco Rubio: “Modernizing” Conservatism
20:07
<p>Not so long ago, Senator Marco Rubio was seen as the shining future of the G.O.P.: a staunch, national-security-minded conservative who was young, charismatic, and a popular Latino politician in a crucial swing state. That was before Donald Trump’s instinct for insult rendered him “Little Marco.”  </p> <p>Since the election of 2016, Rubio—like many traditional conservatives—has been weighing what it means to be a Republican in the age of Trump. Rubio spoke with the <a href="http://newyorker.com">newyorker.com</a> columnist <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/susan-b-glasser">Susan B. Glasser</a> about the threat of China and the future of his party. “We’re modernizing,” Rubio tells her. “Just like every couple weeks I get an update that there’s a software update on my phone that I should download. I think we have to update it, because there’s new ideas and new realities.” “Do you always update those?” Glasser wonders. “Generally,” Rubio replies. “Depends what the fix is.”</p>
Jun 01, 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
Glenda Jackson Onstage, and Marco Rubio on “Modernizing” Conservatism
58:09
<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 the middle of a long acting career. She talks with David Remnick about performing at eighty-two and the state of British politics. Marco Rubio talks with Susan B. Glasser about the threat of China and how to be a conservative in Trump’s Washington. And David Byrne and Angélique Kidjo join a discussion about Talking Heads’ 1980 masterpiece, “Remain in Light,” which Kidjo has reimagined as her own.    </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
Is Identity Politics Killing the Democratic Party?
12:14
<p>Hostility toward identity politics—nurtured by Steve Bannon and others—helped propel the rise of Donald Trump. But that feeling is not only to be found on the right. The Columbia professor Mark Lilla, a Democrat and a self-described liberal, says very much the same thing: that vocal opposition to racism, and support for gay and transgender rights, have been costing Democrats election after election all over America. In a controversial new book, “The Once and Future Liberal,” Lilla is highly critical of Black Lives Matter, and goes out of his way to antagonize activists on the left, who, he says, are oblivious to electoral reality. But his position, he tells David Remnick, is in the service of effecting liberal change: “We cannot do anything for these groups we care about if we do not hold power—it is just talk. Our rhetoric in campaigning must be focussed on winning so we can help these people. An election is not about self-expression—it’s a contest.”</p> <p><em>Originally broadcast on August 25, 2017</em></p>
May 25, 2018
Gillian Flynn’s Worst Job
6:16
<p><a href="http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/10/10/be-kind-to-people-dressed-as-food">Gillian Flynn</a>—the author of “The Grownup,” “Gone Girl,” and other books—was a shy teen-ager when her boss at the frozen-yogurt shop asked to see her in the back. She didn’t quite get what he was showing her, but she knew she didn’t like it. “My first thought was, I think he’s killed someone? Am I going to be accessory for murder? This is such a bummer. I did not sign up for this.” It turned out to be a costume representing a human-size fro-yo, and Flynn had to wear it. In public.</p> <p><em>Originally broadcast on August 25, 2017</em></p>
May 25, 2018
Akhil Sharma Lies His Way Into a Job
5:35
<p>Akhil Sharma’s novels include “Family Life” and the PEN/Hemingway Award-winning “An Obedient Father,” and he has<a href="http://www.newyorker.com/contributors/akhil-sharma"> published</a> quite a few short stories and essays in <em>The New Yorker</em>. So we should all be thankful that his original plan didn’t quite work out. Sharma, who calls himself “deeply lazy” and “incredibly greedy,” heard that investment banking paid the most money, and he lined up for interviews. As he told The New Yorker Radio Hour, he didn’t know a thing about finance, but he had an ace up his sleeve. An enthusiastic, imaginative liar, Sharma spun tales about his experiences working in gas stations and 7-Elevens that he never set foot in, and charmed his interviewers. “I was playing right along with their expectations, which frankly I did not mind.”</p> <p><em>Originally broadcast on August 25, 2017</em></p>
May 25, 2018
Alison Bechdel’s Shortest-Ever Job
3:14
<p>One evening—years before her success as a cartoonist, with books like “Fun Home” and “Are You My Mother”—Alison Bechdel and her girlfriend were walking down the street minding their own business. “We were young lesbians in the New York City in the early eighties,” she told The New Yorker Radio Hour, “and we were dressed as such,” sporting Levi’s and denim jackets and short hair. Then a man called out to them: “You fellas want to earn five bucks?”</p> <p><em>Originally broadcast on August 25, 2017</em></p>
May 25, 2018
Paul Schrader: Movies as Religion
15:21
<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.  </p>
May 25, 2018
Malcolm Gladwell on Understanding School Shooters
11:14
<p>In his <em>New Yorker</em> story “<a href="http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/10/19/thresholds-of-violence">Thresholds of Violence</a>,” Malcolm Gladwell turned his attention to the psychology of school shooters. In a conversation with <em>The New Yorker’</em>s Dorothy Wickenden, Gladwell explains why the social dynamics of school shootings are comparable to those of a riot, where every act of violence makes the next one slightly more likely. He also explains why the problem is far too complex to be addressed through gun control.</p> <p><em>Originally broadcast on March 11, 2016</em></p>
May 25, 2018
Malcolm Gladwell on School Shootings, and the Return of Paul Schrader
55:34
<p>What drives a child to massacre his classmates and teachers?  Malcolm Gladwell turns to sociology to try to understand the contagion of senseless violence in our schools.  The director Paul Schrader talks about his struggles with Hollywood and his new film, starring Ethan Hawke. And Gillian Flynn, Akhil Sharma, and Alison Bechdel describe their most memorable summer jobs.  </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
North Korea Blows Hot and Cold on the Prospect of Talks
8:50
<p>No sitting American President has ever met a leader of North Korea. But Donald Trump’s Presidency is without precedent in many ways, and, after more than a year of swapping insults and schoolyard taunts, Trump and Kim Jong Un recently made a commitment to meet and discuss North Korea’s nuclear program. “We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!” Trump wrote on Twitter. Yet this week, Kim’s regime called off talks with South Korea and threatened to cancel the June summit with the United States, citing a joint U.S.-South Korean military exercise.</p> <p>Victor Cha was George W. Bush’s top adviser on North Korea. He spoke with <em>The New Yorker</em>’s <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/evan-osnos">Evan Osnos</a> about the dizzying changes in the relationship with the North, how the prospect of talks is being received in Asia, and whether Trump—eager for a foreign-policy coup—might be tricked into giving up too much.</p> <p> </p>
May 18, 2018
The Breeders on Sexism, Drugs, and Rock and Roll
29:51
<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 18, 2018
An Architect of the Iran Deal Sees Her Work Crumbling
14:07
<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?”</p> <p> </p>
May 18, 2018
The Breeders Are Back
55:07
<p><span>The Trump Administration wants to end diplomacy with Iran and start talks with North Korea—and Pyongyang is sending mixed signals. An architect of the Iran nuclear deal and a North Korea expert look at the upheavals in current foreign policy. Plus, the Breeders play live in our studio and talk sexism, drugs, and rock and roll. </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
Senator Mark Warner on the Threat of Russia
15:18
<p>In an atmosphere of toxic political partisanship, the Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence is working very hard to maintain a functioning bipartisan investigation on Russian interference. The vice-chairman of that committee, Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, is more informed about Russia’s role in the 2016 election—on social media and in communications with the Trump campaign—than just about anyone else in Washington. Warner is deeply frustrated that, after everything his committee and others have discovered about Russian hacking and manipulation, the White House is ignoring a clear and present danger. Russia has interfered with democracy in the United States and elsewhere “for less than the cost of one new F-35 airplane,” Warner tells David Remnick. “We’re buying the world’s best twentieth-century military, when in many ways, the conflict in the twenty-first century may be in the realm of cyber and misinformation,” he says. “And in those areas, Russia is our peer.”</p>
May 11, 2018
Rolling the Dice in a Battle with Russia
13:48
<p>The complexity of world events can’t be modelled by a flow chart or even the most sophisticated algorithms. Instead, military officers, diplomats, and policy analysts sometimes turn to an old but sophisticated set of tools: war games. <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/simon-parkin">Simon Parkin</a> writes for <em>The New Yorker</em> on gaming, and he recently observed officials playing what’s known as a matrix game led by Major Tom Mouat, an expert on war games, at the Defense Academy of the United Kingdom. Parkin describes Mouat’s game as being a cross between Dungeons &amp; Dragons, Risk, and a rap battle. On the day of the game play, Britain had expelled Russian diplomats in retaliation for the poisoning of a former Russian spy on British soil, and the game focussed on trying to predict and contain Putin’s response.   </p>
May 11, 2018
Dunya Mikhail on the Lives Stolen by ISIS
15:08
<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>. When threats against her became frequent, Mikhail left the country, and she now teaches Arabic at Oakland University, in Michigan. Mikhail returns to journalism in her new book, “The Beekeeper<em>.</em>” It 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. She spoke with <em>The New Yorker’s</em> executive editor, and the host of the <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/podcast/political-scene">Politics and More</a> podcast, Dorothy Wickenden.</p>
May 11, 2018
Michael Cunningham Makes a Case for Humanity
5:55
<p><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/michael-cunningham">Michael Cunningham</a> published his first piece of fiction in <em>The New Yorker</em> almost thirty years ago. Since then, he has published six novels, including “The Hours,” which won the Pulitzer Prize and was adapted into a film with Julianne Moore and Meryl Streep. Cunningham lives in Manhattan, and when he feels too alone with his writing he goes outside to take in the bustle of Washington Square Park: “Everything you need to know about what it’s like to be human is present within this small area.”</p>
May 11, 2018
Jack Handey Ponders the Mysteries of Humor
2:23
<p>Jack Handey is a veteran of the “Saturday Night Live” writers’ room, a former joke writer for Steve Martin, and the creator of the extremely popular book series “Deep Thoughts.” (The most recent one is called “Please Stop the Deep Thoughts.”) If anybody is qualified to weigh in on what’s funny and what’s not, it’s Handey. But there are some mysteries of humor that even Handey finds he cannot penetrate.</p>
May 11, 2018
How to Contain the Threat of Russia, and Jack Handey on the Mysteries of Humor
55:15
<p>Senator Mark Warner is the vice-chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is trying to explore the possibility of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign without causing a partisan blowup. Warner fears that, with Russia, we’re confronting twenty-first-century threats with twentieth-century tools. Simon Parkin reports on how military officers and diplomats use a board game to model the complexity of world events. A poet tells the stories of women who have survived the nightmare of the Islamic State. And finally, the humorist Jack Handey asks the questions that have been baffling humorists since the beginning of time: What’s funny, and why?</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
Robert Caro on the Fall of New York
34:27
<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
Glenn Close Doesn’t Play Evil (with One Exception)
18:12
<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 04, 2018
Robert Caro on the Fall of New York, and Glenn Close on Complicated Characters
55:08
<p>On stage at the 2017 New Yorker Festival, two masters of portraying difficult people: the biographer Robert Caro (“The Power Broker,” “The Years of Lyndon Johnson”) speaks with the novelist Colm Tóibín; and the actress Glenn Close (“Fatal Attraction,” “Sunset Boulevard,” and countless other roles) speaks with The New Yorker staff writer Michael Schulman.  </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
ICE Comes to a Small Town in Tennessee
10:15
<p><span>Earlier this month, Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted its largest workplace raid in a decade, in the tiny town of Bean Station, Tennessee. The owner of a meat-packing plant was being investigated by the I.R.S., and was suspected of employing undocumented workers. Ninety-seven people, mostly from Mexico and Guatemala, were arrested. Most lived in Morristown, in Hamblen County, which voted seventy-seven per cent for Donald Trump in the 2016 election. This suggests that Hamblen is an inhospitable place for undocumented Latinos, but the reality that the staff writer Jonathan Blitzer found while <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/news/dispatch/in-rural-tennessee-a-big-ice-raid-makes-some-conservative-voters-rethink-trumps-immigration-agenda">covering</a> the raid is more complicated; U.S.-born residents were quick to tell him that the community had quickly raised sixty thousand dollars for the families of detainees. Blitzer talked with David Williams, the pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church, in Morristown, who said that the raid has inspired conservative residents to reconsider what immigration enforcement should look like.</span></p>
Apr 27, 2018
The Right to Bear W.M.D.s
2:25
<p><span>“I’m a Proud Nuclear-Missile Owner” takes the Second Amendment to a whole other level.  It was written by the novelist and essayist <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/teddy-wayne">Teddy Wayne</a> for <em>The New Yorker’s</em> Shouts &amp; Murmurs, and is performed for the “Radio Hour” by Nick Offerman—best known as the gun-adoring Ron Swanson on “Parks and Recreation.”</span></p>
Apr 27, 2018
Apocalypse Prepping, on a Budget
13:36
<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.</span></p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/800/600/l/80/1/Prepping2.jpg" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption">Apocalypse Prepping, on a Budget</div> <div class="image-credit">(Steven Valentino)</div> </div> </div> <p> </p> <p><span> </span></p>
Apr 27, 2018
Stacey Abrams Runs to Make History in Georgia
13:09
<p><span>A groundswell of women are seeking congressional seats this year, as Margaret Talbot recently <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/2018-midterm-elections-women-candidates-trump">reported</a>, and an all-time high of seventy-eight women are expected to run for governor. Among them is Stacey Abrams, a lawyer, businesswoman, author, and former state representative. If elected governor of Georgia, Abrams would be the first black woman to lead a state, as well as one of the first fiction writers to hold that office; under the name Selena Montgomery, Abrams is the author of a number of romantic novels. Under her own name, Abrams wrote “Minority Leader,” a nonfiction account of her time as a lawmaker. “For me,” she told <em>The New Yorker’s</em> <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/jeffrey-toobin">Jeffrey Toobin</a>, “there’s no clear roadmap for this.”</span></p>
Apr 27, 2018
America After Weinstein
14:02
<p>The Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, the highest prize in journalism, was recently awarded to the reporters who broke the first stories about alleged sexual assaults and harassment by Harvey Weinstein. Those reports, by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey for the New York <em>Times</em> and <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/ronan-farrow">Ronan Farrow</a> for <em>The New Yorker</em>, changed the culture, prompting a torrent of similar grievances against others and giving rise to the reckoning we now refer to as #MeToo. Not long after those stories were published, Farrow appeared on “The New Yorker Radio Hour” and spoke with David Remnick and the staff writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/alexandra-schwartz">Alexandra Schwartz</a>, who wrote about #MeToo as it became a movement. </p> <p><em>Originally broadcast on November 17, 2017.</em></p> <p><em> </em></p>
Apr 27, 2018
Shopping for the Apocalypse, and ICE in Tennessee
55:34
<p>Earlier this month, Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted its largest workplace raid in a decade, in rural Tennessee. After witnessing how it tore families apart, some Trump supporters in the community are reëvaluating their ideas about immigration enforcement. Plus: Jeffrey Toobin speaks with a gubernatorial candidate who hopes to be the first black woman to govern a state in America; and Patricia Marx tries to prep for the apocalypse, on a very tight budget.</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
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
Ada Limón’s Day at the Racetrack
6:32
<p><span>The poet <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/ada-limon">Ada Limón</a> grew up going to the racetrack with her stepfather, who loved to play the ponies.  As an adult, she left the home she had made in New York to move to Lexington, Kentucky, with the man who is now her husband.  She fell in love with horses all over again—especially the fillies—and they found their way into her collection of poems “Bright Dead Things.”  This spring, she visited Keeneland Racecourse and read her poem “How to Triumph Like a Girl.”</span></p>
Apr 13, 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
A Trans Woman Finds Her True Face Through Surgery
17:04
<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.</span></p>
Apr 13, 2018
Minor League Ballplayers versus Major League Baseball
11:48
<p><span>Hidden nearly two thousand-pages into the $1.3-trillion omnibus spending bill is a measure that has nothing at all to do with government spending.  The Save America’s Pastime Act addresses the wages that Major League Baseball pays to minor league players. M.L.B. has traditionally not compensated these players for many of the hours they work, claiming that they are trainees rather than employees. As a result, future M.L.B. players often spend years in poverty. This new piece of legislation seems to exempt the league from abiding by overtime laws and allows it to only pay players for the parts of the year when they are in season. Garrett Broshius, an attorney who pitched in in the minors for six years, is currently representing forty-five players in a lawsuit about their pay. The sports writer Mary Pilon, who <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/news/sporting-scene/what-the-spending-bill-could-mean-for-minor-league-baseball-players">covered</a> the new law, spoke with Broshius about how it could make his case harder. </span></p>
Apr 13, 2018
Ross Douthat on the Trumpian Side of Pope Francis
18:38
<p><span>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.</span></p>
Apr 13, 2018
Pope Francis the Disruptor, and the New Law of Baseball
55:52
<p><span>In a new book, the conservative New York <em>Times</em> columnist Ross Douthat argues that Pope Francis is not a reformer but a radical, playing fast and loose with doctrine to the detriment of his Church.  Douthat goes so far as to compare the progressive pontiff to Donald Trump—no compliment intended.  A lawyer and former baseball player explains why a new federal law targets the wages of minor league players.  And Rebecca Mead observes a seven-hour procedure in which a surgeon reconstructs a trans woman’s face so that the world sees her as she sees herself.</span></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
Frank Oz on Miss Piggy’s Secret Backstory and Jim Henson’s Legacy
17:17
<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.” He eventually started directing his own films, starring full-sized adult people: “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Bowfinger,” and more. His latest project is a documentary called “<a href="https://muppetguystalking.com/">Muppet Guys Talking</a>,” which features veteran Muppeteers sharing stories about their time working with Henson on the series.</p> <p><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/michael-schulman">Michael Schulman</a> 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.</p>
Apr 06, 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
Naomi Fry Recommends Three Internet Treasures
5:55
<p><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/naomi-fry">Naomi Fry</a> writes about Internet news and celebrity gossip.  Although she joined the staff of <em>The New Yorker</em> scarcely five weeks ago, she has already caused a frenzy on the Web with her writing: a piece titled “<a href="https://www.newyorker.com/culture/annals-of-appearances/the-great-sadness-of-ben-affleck">The Great Sadness of Ben Affleck</a>.”</p> <p><span>Fry stopped by David Remnick’s office recently with some suggestions about what’s new and noteworthy on the Internet: the Netflix show “Big Mouth”, a series of taste-making videos called “<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEs0BP0i1Ro">Sneaker Shopping</a>,” and the Instagram account “<a href="https://www.instagram.com/shiasoutfits/?hl=en">Shia’s Outfits</a>.”</span></p>
Apr 06, 2018
A Saudi Prince Charms the West
14:22
<p>With the appointment of John Bolton as national security advisor and Mike Pompeo as the Secretary of State, it seems as if the Trump Administration is going to take a hard line with Iran. That decision has been received with joy in Saudi Arabia, which is Iran’s chief rival in the Middle East and a close ally to the United States.</p> <p><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/dexter-filkins">Dexter Filkins</a>, a staff writer at <em>The New Yorker</em>, recently returned from Riyadh, where he was reporting on the new Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/04/09/a-saudi-princes-quest-to-remake-the-middle-east">Mohammed bin Salman</a>. Salman, commonly known as M.B.S., has established close ties Donald Trump and Jared Kushner with the intention of changing the way that America sees his home country. M.B.S represents a dramatic shift in Saudi leadership: he has promised to overhaul the oil-dependent economy, to usher in cultural reform, and to allow Saudi women to drive. There is, however, a dark side to his rule, says Filkins.  “The one thing that’s not on the table is political reform. This is all about saving the house of Saud.” M.B.S. has systematically eliminated his political opponents, cracked down on the press, and arrested human rights activists. Now, emboldened by the White House, Saudi Arabia is aggressively pushing to be the main power in the Middle East—and to oversee a united front against Iran.</p> <p> </p>
Apr 06, 2018
Emma González at the Head of #NeverAgain
16:17
<p>Emma González is a survivor of the Parkland attack and, in its aftermath, she has quickly become one of the most visible leaders of the new push for gun control in this country. In the last two months she has debated an N.R.A. spokesman on live television and faced a wave of extremist trolls.  And, seemingly overnight, she and her classmates from Marjory Stoneman Douglas forged a national movement, #NeverAgain, which gathered hundreds of thousands of protesters across the country in an event billed as the “March for Our Lives.”</p> <p>González spoke to David Remnick on the phone from her home in Florida. In their conversation, she explains how her life has changed since the shooting, and why activism comes surprisingly naturally to high-school students: “We know how to keep people's attention on us because we're teenagers, and we have the phones.”</p> <p> </p>
Apr 06, 2018
Emma González at Home, and a Crown Prince Abroad
55:39
<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 this newest push for gun control. Then Dexter Filkins talks with David Remnick about the new Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia—a young, energetic reformer who’s forging close ties with the Trump White House. After, the staff writer Naomi Fry recommends three Internet treasures. And finally, <em>The New Yorker’s</em> Michael Schulman pays a visit to one of his heroes: Frank Oz.</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
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
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?”</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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><span>This episode contains explicit language and may not be suitable for children.<br></span></p>
Mar 30, 2018
John Thompson vs. American Justice
55:32
<p><span>After prosecutors railroaded John Thompson on a murder conviction, he came within weeks of execution before an investigator found the evidence that exonerated him.  Still, the Supreme Court declined to punish the district attorney’s office that sent him to death row. Thompson’s case exposes a fundamental question: When prosecutors hold all the cards, can any defendant get a fair trial?<br><br>This episode contains explicit language and may not be suitable for children.</span></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
Bad Dog
12:28
<p><span>In 2011, Jia Tolentino went to a dog rescue in Dallas and found Luna. Seven years later, Luna is the love of her life and the bane of her existence. The mutt jumps on visitors, bites, barks incessantly, chews through stuff, and even got Tolentino sued. After <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/culture/jia-tolentino/a-heavenly-respite-at-the-westminster-dog-show">covering</a> the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show for <em>The New Yorker,</em> Tolentino finally came to terms with the truth: Luna is a bad dog. But are there really bad dogs, or only bad owners?<br></span></p>
Mar 23, 2018
The American Bombs Falling on Yemen
21:45
<p><span>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.</span></p>
Mar 23, 2018
Scott Pruitt, the “Originalist” at the E.P.A.
12:05
<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>
Mar 23, 2018
Carrie Battan Picks Three
7:09
<p>Carrie Battan writes about pop music for <em>The New Yorker</em>, a job that keeps her on the cutting edge of what’s new and interesting. She tells David Remnick about three tracks that have grabbed her attention lately: “Low Life,” by the Internet celebrity and performance artist known as Poppy; the earworm “Drogba (Joanna),” by the British Afrobeat producer Afro B; and “Flower of the Universe,” Sade’s surprise contribution to the soundtrack of “A Wrinkle in Time.”</p>
Mar 23, 2018
The American Bombs Falling on Yemen
55:52
<p><span>As opposition to U.S. involvement in the war in Yemen rises, we look at the fate of one Yemeni peacemaker who was killed in an air strike in Sana’a. A reporter examines Scott Pruitt’s case for “originalism” at the Environmental Protection Agency, a position that embraces an era before climate change was understood. And our pop-music critic plays three new tracks that have grabbed her attention.<br></span></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
Tracy K Smith in the Woods
6:48
<p><span>Tracy K Smith’s first poem to appear in<em> The New Yorker,</em> in 2009, was “Alternate Take: Levon Helm,” about the great musician and member of the Band. <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/tracy-k-smith">Smith</a> was recently named the Poet Laureate of the United States, so the demands on her time have increased. She took us into the woods around her home to describe the “effortless sense of clarity” she seeks in her work, and met up with the local fauna. Smith's collection “Wade in the Water” will be published in April, 2018.</span></p>
Mar 16, 2018
A Homemade Museum in a Refugee Camp
13:55
<p><span>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.</span></p>
Mar 16, 2018
The People’s Historian of the Former Soviet Union
11:39
<p><span>The Belarusian writer Svetlana Alexievich won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature for her haunting oral histories of the Chernobyl disaster and the Soviet War in Afghanistan. Her latest book, “Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets,” collects interviews with Russian-speaking men and women about the country’s transition from Communism to capitalism. Alexievich links the difficulties of that political shift with the rise of Vladimir Putin. Though she is opposed to the Russian leader’s authoritarian policies, she warns against demonizing him. Alexievich says he embodies the Russian population’s desire for purpose after the fall of the U.S.S.R. Alexievich spoke with David Remnick about the intimate consequences of the Soviet Union’s demise.</span></p>
Mar 16, 2018
Armando Iannucci on “The Death of Stalin”
20:16
<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>
Mar 16, 2018
The Death of Stalin, and Tracy K. Smith in the Woods
54:59
<p>In “Veep,” the director Armando Iannucci chronicles the foibles of a lousy, but plausible, democratic politician. His new film, “The Death of Stalin,” finds dark humor in the murderous officials afraid for their own lives when the totalitarian leader abruptly dies. The Nobel Prize-winning writer Svetlana Alexievich talks about the psychological impact of life under dictatorship. And the poet Tracy K. Smith talks about leaving the city to find peace in the woods.</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
Lessons in Love from Holland-Dozier-Holland
7:46
<p>Vinson Cunningham <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/12/19/motowns-true-visionaries">wrote</a> in <em>The New Yorker</em> that, “with all due respect to Smokey Robinson, the Motown Sound as we know it was created by Holland-Dozier-Holland.” Brian Holland, Eddie Holland, and Lamont Dozier wrote “Heat Wave,” “Baby Love,” “How Sweet It Is,” and many other hits. Cunningham says that those classics reflect a uniquely tragic view of love: it’s guaranteed to go bad before it even starts.</p>
Mar 09, 2018
Why Men Should Read Romance Novels
13:58
<p><span><em>The New Yorker’s</em> Josh Rothman finds it hard to get a conversation going about romance novels with male friends or acquaintances. He talked with Curtis Sittenfeld—whose fiction often contains a romantic story, though they’re not romance novels per se—about why that is. Sittenfeld’s most recent book, “Eligible,” is a retelling of the ur-romance novel, Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.” It’s been many years since she devoured a trove of bodice rippers, but there’s one—featuring a sex scene on horseback—that Sittenfeld hasn’t let go of.<br></span></p>
Mar 09, 2018
In Secret, a North Korean Writer Protests the Regime
11:42
<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.</span></p>
Mar 09, 2018
Christopher Steele, the Man Behind the Dossier
19:20
<p><span>The dossier—a secret report alleging various corrupt dealings between Donald Trump, his campaign, and the government of Russia, made public after 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. “<a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/03/12/christopher-steele-the-man-behind-the-trump-dossier">The Man Behind the Dossier</a>,” Jane Mayer’s report on Steele, was just published in <em>The New Yorker</em>. She reports that Steele is in the "unenviable predicament" of being hated by both Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin—and that he documented more evidence than he put in the dossier.</span></p>
Mar 09, 2018
Christopher Steele and the Russian Dossier, and a North Korean Poet
55:16
<p><span>The notorious dossier on the President’s ties to Russia is one of the most hotly debated documents in Washington. Jane Mayer profiles the dossier’s author, a former British intelligence agent named Christopher Steele, who has been maligned as a criminal by defenders of Donald Trump. We look at the work of Bandi, the only known dissident writer living in North Korea, whose work was smuggled out and recently published. And we get two views of love: a romantic one from novelist Curtis Sittenfeld, and a tragic one from the Motown songwriting team Holland-Dozier-Holland.</span></p> <p><span>Click <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-new-yorker-radio-hour/id1050430296?mt=2">here</a> to subscribe to The New Yorker Radio Hour on iTunes.<br></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
Alone and on Foot in Antarctica
25:21
<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 02, 2018
How Florida Became Gun Paradise
11:25
<p><span>A national conversation about gun control is gaining ground after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida. But in the days just after the shooting Florida legislators voted against even debating gun control. The unwillingness of politicians across the country to address the crisis is rooted in the lobbying efforts of the National Rifle Association, and in Florida the N.R.A.’s voice is a particularly powerful one. Marion Hammer is responsible for some of the state’s most extreme gun laws, like concealed carry, which went on to be copied by many other states. Mike Spies recently <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/03/05/the-nra-lobbyist-behind-floridas-pro-gun-policies">profiled</a> Hammer for <em>The New Yorker</em>, and he joins the staff writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/evan-osnos">Evan Osnos</a> to discuss how she became an untouchable figure in Florida, writing laws and giving orders at the highest levels of government. But the high schoolers who survived the Parkland shooting, Spies thinks, may be Hammer’s nightmare.</span></p>
Mar 02, 2018
Jennifer Lawrence on “Red Sparrow” and Time’s Up
16:27
<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.</span></p>
Mar 02, 2018
Jennifer Lawrence on “Red Sparrow” and Real Housewives, and Henry Worsley’s Antarctic Expedition
55:07
<p><span>Jennifer Lawrence is one of the best-known and most revered actors in Hollywood. Her profile has made her a frequent target of the sexism that infests the ways movies are both made and talked about. She talks to David Remnick about a new role that combines two of today’s most critical issues: Russian espionage and sexual coercion at work. David Grann tells the story of the British explorer Henry Worsley, and his quest to become the first man to cross Antarctica on foot unassisted and alone. And, in the wake of the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida, the journalist Mike Spies talks about the N.R.A. lobbyist who helped make Florida one of the most gun-friendly states in America.</span><span><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
Chang-rae Lee at Don Quijote
6:28
<p><span>The novelist Chang-rae Lee was born in South Korea and grew up in Westchester. When he was in his forties, he spent a year in Hawaii on sabbatical, and he’s been going back regularly ever since. But the draw for Lee isn’t some breathtaking unspoiled beach, but rather a big-box store called Don Quijote, on a nondescript intersection in downtown Honolulu, that’s stocked with everything from military-grade nylon cord, to some of the island’s best-value poke. In the era of online reviews and Yelp, Don Quijote offers an unusual shopping experience. "I hate going shopping in the places we normally go shopping, because I know what's there,” Lee explains. “And I think more and more we're running short of places where you can actually go and not know what you're going to get." </span></p>
Feb 23, 2018
The New Yorker presents “The Brodies”
12:21
<p><span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/richard-brody">Richard Brody</a> has been writing about film for <em>The New Yorker</em> for more than a dozen years, and he’s become known for his eccentric taste. He recently sat down with David Remnick and <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/alexandra-schwartz">Alexandra Schwartz</a>, to give his take on the best movies of 2017. But Brody is the first to acknowledge that his picks were never likely to be nominated for Academy Awards. When it comes to the Oscars, Brody thinks, the strongest contenders are films that reinforce Hollywood’s own liberal identity: “the kind of image that Gene Kelly puts forth at the very beginning of 'Singing in the Rain': 'dignity, always dignity.'"</span></p>
Feb 23, 2018
Francisco Cantú Reflects on his time working on the U.S. Border Patrol
16:47
<p><span>When Francisco Cantú graduated from college with a degree with international relations, he did something that surprised even his mother: he decided to join the Border Patrol. In his book “The Line Becomes a River” Cantú reflects on the four years he spent on the Border Patrol in the deserts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. He recently spoke with <em>The New Yorker’s</em> <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/sarah-stillman">Sarah Stillman</a>, who has written extensively about immigration in this country, about how his time in that job shaped his understanding of U.S. immigration policy: “No matter what obstacle we put at the border it's going to be subverted,” he said. “People will find a way up, over, under, around it.”</span></p>
Feb 23, 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
Masha Gessen on Putin’s Russia and Trump’s America
14:36
<p><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/masha-gessen">Masha Gessen</a> was born in Moscow, and came to this country with her family as a teenager, and she moved back and forth between the United States and Russia as an adult.  Her work as a journalist and as a gay rights activist in both countries has made her uniquely positioned to write about Vladimir Putin’s Russia, Donald Trump’s America, and how they intersect at this very fraught moment. “It’s like I was gifted with this special pair of eyeglasses,” she tells David Remnick. </p> <p>Gessen is as ferocious a critic of Putin as you’ll find, yet she’s skeptical of how much attention the Russia scandal has received in the media. “Every column inch that’s devoted to the Mueller probe is not devoted to some other thing that the Trump Administration is doing, that I think often is more important,” she said. When asked about the effects of Trumpism on American society, Gessen thinks that while we’re having lots of conversations <em>about </em>politics, we’ve lost the capacity for political conversation: “A political conversation is a conversation in which people with different views come to agreements about how they’re going to inhabit this society together,” she says. “We don’t see that happening in Congress, we don’t see that happening in the streets, we don’t see that happening at kitchen tables.”</p> <p> </p>
Feb 23, 2018
“We Do Our Own Little Spin on Ketchup”
2:29
<p><span>In this piece, adapted from a New Yorker Shouts and Murmurs column, a disgruntled server shares his brutally honest take on the house-made ketchup: it’s disgusting. The piece is written by Seth Reiss, and performed by Bill Hader, of Saturday Night Live and Trainwreck fame. Hader’s new show, “Barry” premieres on HBO in March.</span></p>
Feb 23, 2018
An Alternative Oscars Ceremony, and Masha Gessen on Putin's Russia and Trump's America
55:07
<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. 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. 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
A Reckoning at Facebook
19:10
<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>), <strong>interviewed fifty-one current and former employees of Facebook</strong> 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.</p>
Feb 16, 2018
Joanna Milter Picks Three
5:24
<p class="p1">Joanna Milter is the director of photography at <em>The New Yorker</em>, but her love of the medium pales in comparison to her love of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the home team of LeBron James. Milter, a Cleveland native, tells David Remnick about her current basketball obsessions: the work of Doris Burke, a pioneering color commentator for the N.B.A.; an alternate-reality Twitter feed about the player Dwyane Wade, comprehensible only to Cavs superfans; and a documentary about the very early career—starting in fifth grade—of LeBron James.</p>
Feb 16, 2018
Director Ava DuVernay on “Selma” and “A Wrinkle in Time”
27:34
<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 16, 2018
Ava DuVernay, and a Reckoning at Facebook
55:20
<p class="p1">The editor of <em>Wired</em> magazine talks with David Remnick about soul-searching at Facebook. In the wake of Russian meddling with Americans’ news feeds during the election of 2016, Mark Zuckerberg is reckoning with how Facebook’s business strategy allowed it to happen, and his own culpability in denying the extent of the damage. And the director Ava DuVernay—of films like “Selma” and “13th”—talks about making a very different kind of movie. In adapting Madeleine L’Engle’s classic “A Wrinkle in Time,” DuVernay has created a young black heroine who is “saving the frigging world.”</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
The Mudslides in Montecito
7:26
<p><span>The hillside town of Montecito, California, above Santa Barbara, has been writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/t-coraghessan-boyle">T. Coraghessan Boyle’s</a> home for twenty-five years. He knows its neighborhoods, houses, and people like the back of his hand. But wildfires and mudslides tore catastrophically through this section of the state in recent months. Boyle attempts to grapple with the loss of lives, community, and familiarity after Montecito was devastated.<br></span></p>
Feb 09, 2018
Ian Frazier Among the Drone Racers
16:21
<p><span><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 an 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.</span></p>
Feb 09, 2018
Steve Coll on the Endless War in Afghanistan
15:16
<p><span>Despite the trillions of dollars spent and the hundred thousand killed, the Taliban and ISIS remain active in Afghanistan, and there’s no end in sight to the seventeen-year war there. <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/steve-coll">Steve Coll</a> has reported on Afghanistan for <em>The New Yorker</em> since 2005, and his book “Ghost Wars”—which won the Pulitzer Prize—told the story of conflict from the Soviet invasion, in the late nineteen-seventies, to September 11, 2001. His newest book picks up the story from there. “Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America’s Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan” explains how major failings in the American intelligence apparatus contributed to the ongoing chaos in the region. He tells David Remnick that Pakistan is central to our understanding of Afghanistan.</span></p>
Feb 09, 2018
Taking Politics to Extremes
12:26
<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.</span></p>
Feb 09, 2018
The Adrenaline Rush of Racing Drones, and Politics Goes Extreme
54:52
<p><span>Should political parties tack to the center or move to the fringes in the midterm elections? Amy Davidson Sorkin talks to a political scientist who’s crunching the numbers. Ian Frazier visits a group of adrenaline junkies who race high-speed drones—they’re competitors, friends, and roommates. Steve Coll describes America’s fatal missteps in Afghanistan. And the California writer T. Coraghessan Boyle describes the devastation of his community in last month’s mudslides.</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
The Impossible Burger
7:58
<p class="p1">Meat-free burgers and other vegetarian substitutes have proliferated in recent years. For meat eaters, though, they have not seemed very enticing. Shauna Lyon, the editor of <em>The New Yorker’s</em> Goings On About Town and the food-and-drink page, lapsed from vegetarianism some years ago. So she was keen to investigate a new product, the Impossible Burger, which aims to mimic the look, texture, and even the flavor of a ground-beef burger. The secret ingredient is a plant-derived form of heme, an iron-containing molecule found in animal blood that contributes to the meatiness of meat. Lyon visits a Manhattan restaurant that serves the Impossible Burger, accompanied by Bruce Friedrich, the executive director of the Good Food Institute, who sees a bright future for meat substitutes. “Animal-based burgers are not going to get better,” he says. “Plant-based burgers will.”</p>
Feb 02, 2018
A Night at Richard Nixon’s
15:56
<p class="p1">Richard Nixon’s books, published by Michael Korda at Simon and Schuster, helped his reputation by establishing him as a foreign-policy guru. In 1989, Nixon planned to relive his glory days with a visit to China, but the Tiananmen Square massacre dampened his plans. Would it look bad for Nixon to visit Beijing after a crackdown on democratic protest? The former “President and leader of the free world,” as Nixon called himself, tried to solve his problem at an unofficial gathering of American diplomats, the Chinese ambassador, and Korda, a representative of the media élite which Nixon so despised. Korda recounted the evening in <em>The New Yorker</em>, in 1994, in “<span>Nixon, Mine Host</span>.” It has been adapted for the radio, and is performed by Dylan Baker as Michael Korda and Greg Stuhr as Nixon.</p>
Feb 02, 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
Ryan Zinke’s Deregulation Quest
11:27
<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>
Feb 02, 2018
What is a Bitcoin, Again?
2:27
<p class="p1">The public has breathlessly followed the wild price fluctuations of bitcoin, and discussions of the impact and future of bitcoin can be heard everywhere. <span>Ethan Kuperberg</span>, a writer on “Transparent,” tries to figure out what a cryptocurrency is, in “What Conversations About Bitcoin Sound Like to Me,” published in <em>The New Yorker’s</em> Daily Shouts. It is performed by staff of WNYC and <em>The New Yorker</em>, featuring Rhiannon Corby on vocals.</p>
Feb 02, 2018
Laura Kipnis on the State of #MeToo
14:35
<p>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 Alexandra Schwartz 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 women as well as men need to reflect on how they conduct themselves in heterosexual relationships.</p>
Feb 02, 2018
A Night at Nixon’s, and Laura Kipnis on the State of #MeToo
54:55
<p class="p1">Laura Kipnis, who writes as a contrarian feminist about sex and power, says that the grassroots power of #MeToo is being hijacked by institutions in a power grab. Elizabeth Kolbert details how the Secretary of the Interior is rushing to roll back environmental protections and, for good measure, is bringing litter back to the national parks. We finally explain bitcoin—not! And we eavesdrop on an awkward dinner party at the home of Richard Nixon, where the former President solved a diplomatic crisis of his own.</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
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on Discovering America
19:21
<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.</p>
Jan 26, 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
Laura Marling, a Briton in Los Angeles
10:49
<p>The twenty-seven-year-old British singer/songwriter Laura Marling has produced six albums of dense but delicate folk music, starting when she was only eighteen. After several years touring on the road, she tells <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/john-seabrook">John Seabrook</a>, she found herself in Los Angeles. Speaking at The New Yorker Festival in October, 2017, she explained how, growing up, her father played her a lot of Joni Mitchell, and the influence stuck. In Los Angeles, she felt that many of the musicians she had long idolized were still “there in the hills, looking down on the city.”<br> <br>Marling performed her song “The Valley,” accompanying herself on guitar.</p>
Jan 26, 2018
Nathan Lane, Getting Serious, Plays Roy Cohn
24:28
<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
Nathan Lane as Roy Cohn, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (as Herself)
55:06
<p>The Actor Nathan Lane discusses the challenges of playing one of Donald Trump’s mentors, the ruthless attorney Roy Cohn. The Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie tells David Remnick about the disappointments and joys of life in America, and how she discovered blackness. Plus, a performance from the British folk singer Laura Marling.</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
Troy Patterson Picks Three
<p>A newly appointed television critic for NewYorker.com, Troy Patterson has also written on film, books, and fashion. He shares three recent picks with David Remnick: “Easy,” the director Joe Swanberg’s anthology-format series for Netflix; the extended video for Jay-Z’s “Family Feud,” in which the director Ava DuVernay is “introducing us to [her] new wheelhouse”; and Adidas’s Rod Laver sneakers, which are the more obscure cousin of the famous white Stan Smiths and which Patterson admires because “they look good dirty.”</p>
Jan 19, 2018
Mary Oliver’s Devotions
<p>From geese to crabs to insects to nearly an entire book about her dog, the poet Mary Oliver has turned again and again to animals and to the wilderness to look for meaning. Ruth Franklin <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/11/27/what-mary-olivers-critics-dont-understand">wrote</a> in <em>The New Yorker</em> about “Devotions,” a new collection of Oliver’s work. Franklin spoke with <em>The New Yorker’s </em><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/david-haglund">David Haglund</a> about the directness of Oliver’s poetic voice and her concern with spirituality. Those traits, they speculate, may have dampened the reception of Oliver’s work by some critics, even as Oliver has won the hearts of readers (along with the Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award).</p> <p>Recordings of Oliver reading “The Summer Day” and “Mornings at Blackwater” in 2012 are used courtesy of the 92nd Street Y, in New York.</p>
Jan 19, 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, titled “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.</p>
Jan 19, 2018
Breaking the Overton Window
<p>The alt-right—the umbrella term for online groups and people who espouse white supremacy, white nationalism, misogyny, and other forms of bigotry—isn’t a political movement in the conventional sense, says <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/andrew-marantz">Andrew Marantz</a>, who covers media and politics for <em>The New Yorker</em>. The alt-right doesn’t intend to win a majority in Congress, at least not right away. The goal, rather, is to change how America thinks. Ideologues in the movement refer to shifting the “Overton window,” a sociological concept that defines which ideas are speakable in public at any given time. Marantz explains to David Remnick exactly how ideas and memes are being moved from the fringes of the far right to the center of American discourse.</p>
Jan 19, 2018
A Government Takeover by 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.</p>
Jan 19, 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