DiscoverThe New Yorker Radio Hour
The New Yorker Radio Hour
Claim Ownership

The New Yorker Radio Hour

Author: WNYC Studios and The New Yorker

Subscribed: 51,490Played: 738,294
Share

Description

David Remnick is joined by The New Yorker’s award-winning writers, editors and artists to present a weekly mix of profiles, storytelling, and insightful conversations about the issues that matter — plus an occasional blast of comic genius from the magazine’s legendary Shouts and Murmurs page. The New Yorker has set a standard in journalism for generations and The New Yorker Radio Hour gives it a voice on public radio for the first time. Produced by The New Yorker and WNYC Studios.
WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other leading podcasts including Radiolab, On the Media, Snap Judgment, Death, Sex & Money, Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin, Nancy and many more.
© WNYC Studios
397 Episodes
Reverse
The 2019 New Yorker Festival was the twentieth edition of the annual event, and it was particularly star-studded. This program features interviews with Kenan Thompson, the longest-running cast member of “Saturday Night Live,” and Hasan Minhaj, the “Daily Show” veteran whose Netflix show “Patriot Act” won both an Emmy and a Peabody Award.
Starting this spring, many states began releasing some inmates from prisons and jails to try to reduce the spread of COVID-19. But a huge number of incarcerated people are mentally ill or addicted to drugs, or sometimes both. When those people are released, they may lose their only consistent access to treatment. Marianne McCune, a reporter for WNYC, spent weeks following a psychiatrist and a social worker as they tried to locate and then help some recently released patients at a time of uncertainty and chaos.  This is a collaboration between The New Yorker Radio Hour and WNYC’s “The United States of Anxiety.”
In the summer of 1967, a young black boy in Brooklyn was shot in the back by a police officer. The writer Hilton Als recalls the two days of “discord and sadness” that followed, and reflects on the connection between those demonstrations and this summer’s uprising following the killing of George Floyd. Plus, an activist group sees an opportunity to reclaim the mantle of gay pride after New York cancels its official parade. 
Phoebe Bridgers’s tour dates were cancelled—she was booked at Madison Square Garden, among other venues—so she performs songs from her recent album, “Punisher,” from home. The critic Amanda Petrusich talks about the joys of Folkways records, and the novelist Donald Antrim talks about a year in which he suffered from crippling depression and rarely left his apartment, finding that only music could be a balm for his isolation and fear.
Like everyone in the United States, John Legend has spent much of the past three months in lockdown. He has been recording new music (via Zoom), performing on Instagram, and promoting his upcoming album. Though many artists have delayed releasing records until they can schedule concert dates—increasingly the most reliable revenue in the music industry—Legend didn’t want to hold back. The new album, “Bigger Love,” was written before the pandemic and the current groundswell of protest for racial justice, but his message about resilience and faith resonates. All art, Legend tells David Remnick, “is there to help us imagine a different future.”
This month, the Supreme Court is expected to decide a case with enormous repercussions: the Trump Administration’s cancellation of DACA, a policy that protects young immigrants commonly known as Dreamers. In November, Jonathan Blitzer spoke with two attorneys who argued the case, just before they went before the Court. Ted Olson, a noted litigator, is generally a champion of conservative issues, but he is fighting the Trump Administration here. Luis Cortes is a thirty-one-year-old from Seattle arguing his first Supreme Court case. He is himself an undocumented immigrant protected by DACA; if he loses, his own legal residency would be immediately threatened. Plus, the writer Bryan Washington, a native of Houston, remembers the social life of gay bars before the pandemic.
George Floyd’s killing has prompted a national outcry and a wide reassessment of the ways in which racist systems are intrinsic to America. The anti-racism trainer Suzanne Plihcik argues that racism occurs even in the absence of people who seem like racists: “We are set up for it to happen,” she tells Dorothy Wickenden, and changing those systems will require sustained white action. Plus, the political reporter Eric Lach follows a congressional Democratic primary race to learn how the coronavirus pandemic has changed modern campaigning.
The film critic Richard Brody regards Josephine Decker as one of the best directors of her generation, and picked her 2018 film “Madeline’s Madeline” as his favorite of the year. Decker, he says, reinvents “the very stuff of movies—image, sound, performance—with each film.” Decker’s new film is “Shirley,” starring Elisabeth Moss as the unique horror author Shirley Jackson. In it, Decker dives deeper into the themes that have also shaped her previous works: the creative drives and the relationships of women. Decker tells Brody that, though the film may be a step toward mainstream, she remains guided by “poetic logic.”
“To look around the United States today is enough to make prophets and angels weep,” James Baldwin wrote, in 1978. This week, the staff writer Jelani Cobb speaks with a Minneapolis activist who’s been calling to defund the city’s police department, and with a former police chief who agrees that an institution rooted in racial repression cannot easily be reformed. Plus, Masha Gessen warns that the protests and the coronavirus pandemic may create a sense of chaos that a would-be autocrat can exploit.
Mark Cuban identifies as a capitalist, but the billionaire investor, “Shark Tank” star, and Dallas Mavericks owner has been advocating for changes that point to a different kind of politics. Cuban tells Sheelah Kolhatkar that the economic crisis now requires massive government investment to stabilize the economy from the bottom up; he’s pushing a federal jobs program that would warm the heart of Bernie Sanders. “We are literally going from America 1.0,” he said, “to trying to figure out what America 2.0 is going to look like.” Plus, Katy Waldman picks three novels that provide comic relief; and Susan Orlean gets a life lesson in origami.
Since January, Peter Hessler has reported from China under quarantine. Now, as restrictions lift, he tells David Remnick about his return to normal life; recently, he even went to a dance club. But, although China’s stringent containment measures were effective enough to allow a rapid reopening, one scientist told Hessler, “There is no long-term plan. There’s no country that has a long term plan.” Back in Washington, Evan Osnos explains how blaming China for its sluggish response—and insisting that it cost lives worldwide—has become a touchstone of the Presidential race in America. The candidates have found a rare moment of agreement that it is time to get tough on China, and that their opponent is weak.
When schools were closed owing to the coronavirus outbreak, the English teacher Petria May did the most natural thing she could think of: she assigned her tenth-grade class to read Albert Camus’s novel “The Plague,” which describes a quarantine during an outbreak of disease. Plus, a short story by Peter Cameron. In “Memorial Day,” a teen-age boy is forced to spend a beautiful Memorial Day with the two people he really can’t deal with: his mother and his new stepfather, Lonnie, who’s so young he’s sometimes mistaken for the narrator’s brother. The boy is talkative in school, and he writes letters to pen pals in prison, but at home he hasn’t spoken a word in months. Noah Galvin reads the story, which was originally published in The New Yorker in 1983.
Abie Roehrig, a twenty-year-old undergraduate, has put his name on a list of volunteers for a human-challenge trial to test the efficacy of a COVID-19 vaccine. A human-challenge trial for a vaccine would be nearly unprecedented: it would entail giving subjects a candidate vaccine against the virus, and then infecting them deliberately to test its efficacy more quickly than a traditional, safer vaccine trial. Larissa MacFarquhar talks about this highly controversial proposal with the epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch, who supports such trials for COVID-19, and the virologist Angela Rasmussen, who feels that the scientific benefits are too limited to justify the enormous risks. Plus, Jelani Cobb speaks with the legal scholar Ira P. Robbins about the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, and why prosecutors declined  for months to arrest the white man who killed him. In the Arbery case, Robbins sees a fatal confusion of citizen’s-arrest laws, stand-your-ground doctrine, and racial profiling. 
The New Yorker’s Jia Tolentino has been following the artist Mike Hadreas, who records as Perfume Genius, since his first album; he has just released his fifth, “Set My Heart on Fire Immediately.” He sings about his life and his sexuality in a style that evokes Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison—simultaneously vulnerable and swaggering. “That’s the music I’ve listened to my whole life . . . but felt like there was always not completely room for me in the music,” he tells Tolentino. Plus, Anthony Lane, having completed an extensive review of plague-theme cinema, shares three picks with David Remnick: a German silent picture nearly a century old, a gritty piece of realism from the golden age of Hollywood, and a more recent film that everybody’s been watching these last three months.
Jill Lepore discusses the “stay at home” campaigns that ran on radio stations during the polio years, devised to keep children indoors; she is especially fond of a program that featured a young Hubert Humphrey reading comics. Lepore finds solace in revisiting the desperate measures of that era. “One of the reasons I study history,” she says, “is I like to see how things began, so I can imagine how bad things end.” She describes the momentous day, in 1955, when Dr. Jonas Salk and his colleagues announced the success of the polio vaccine trials. “That’s the great blessing of a vaccination program,” Lepore says. “We forget how bad the disease was.” Plus, David Remnick speaks with three mayors who have to negotiate the task of reopening their cities safely.
For more than fifteen years, the fiction writer Edwidge Danticat has called Miami’s Little Haiti home. The neighborhood is full of Haitian émigrés like herself, many of whom support families back home. Though the virus has barely touched Haiti, the economic devastation it has wreaked on the U.S. will have dire consequences on the island. Over the years, Danticat has watched as Haiti’s struggles—political, economic, and environmental—have affected her friends and neighbors in Florida. “People would often say, ‘Whenever Haiti sneezes, Miami catches a cold,’ ” says Danticat. “But the reverse is also true.” Plus, two Western writers—Thomas McGuane and Callan Wink, separated by more than forty years in age—go fishing on Montana’s Yellowstone River, and share a pointed critique of “Western writing.”
Michigan is the tenth-largest state by population, but it has the third-largest number of COVID-19 deaths. Governor Gretchen Whitmer enacted some of the country’s most stringent stay-at-home orders, even forbidding landscaping and fishing. Furious and sometimes armed protesters became national news. Meanwhile, Whitmer’s outspoken criticism of the Trump Administration’s efforts on behalf of the states made her a frequent target of the President. “I didn’t ask to be thrown into the national spotlight,” Whitmer tells Susan B. Glasser. “I’m just trying to do my job, and I’m never going to apologize for that. Because lives are at stake here.” Whitmer’s national visibility has brought rumors that she is on the short list for Joe Biden’s Vice-Presidential pick. Whitmer is a sexual-assault survivor herself, and she explains why she stands by Biden despite the accusation made by his former aide Tara Reade.     Susan B. Glasser also speaks with David Remnick about the tensions that have emerged between the federal government and the states. While mostly targeting Democratic governors, Trump has also criticized some in his own party. 
Three months ago, Kai Wright, the host of WNYC’s the United States of Anxiety, joined David Remnick for a special episode about the effects of mass incarceration and the movement to end it. Now, as the coronavirus pandemic puts inmates in acute and disproportionate danger, that effort may be gaining new traction. Wright and Remnick reconvene to examine the COVID-19 crisis in prison and its political effects. David Remnick also speaks with Phil Murphy, the governor of New Jersey, who has signed an executive order to release certain at-risk inmates from states prisons—the sort of measure that would once have been deeply unpopular and risky. “I haven’t really spent any time on the politics,” Governor Murphy says. “In all the steps we’ve taken, we’re trying to make the call as best we can, based on the facts, based on the data, based on the science.” And Kai Wright interviews Udi Ofer, the head of the A.C.L.U.’s Justice Division, who notes that “the communities that the C.D.C. has told us are most vulnerable to COVID-19 are exactly the communities that are housed in our nation’s jails and prisons,” including a disproportionately older population among inmates. Given the lack of social distancing and, in many cases, substandard hygienic conditions, Ofer says that reducing the inmate population “literally is a life-and-death situation.”
As of the end of April, thirty million people have filed for unemployment as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Yet many believe that this is only the first stage or initial shock of the financial system’s abrupt halt. “It’s more like a heart attack than the Great Depression,” John Cassidy explains. He speaks with David Remnick about the ways that this crisis could play out, and when and how the economy could bounce back. Plus, we meet Chika, a rapper who was hailed by P. Diddy as “best of the new school.” And Mike Birbiglia imagines his ideal death.
As black people die from COVID-19 at disproportionate rates, the disease is highlighting health disparities we’ve long known about. Kai Wright, the host of WNYC’s “The United States of Anxiety,” speaks with Arline Geronimus, a public-health researcher, about what happens to black people’s bodies—on a cellular level—while living in a racist society. Plus, we hear from one essential worker in New York who’s doing his best to weather the pandemic.
loading
Comments (32)

ID17712496

Love this.

May 12th
Reply

ncooty

I'm sure Geronimus is well intentioned, but she made an exceptionally weak argument here. She made a simplistic case that chronic stress (from which she offers no meaningful distinction for "weathering") fully mediates the effect of race on health outcomes. However, she provided no evidence that the stress effects of race are distinct from the stress effects of poverty. (Using race as a proxy for poverty would evince a deep misunderstanding of logic, measurement theory, and scientific methods, but it's a common, short-sighted, ignorant thing to do.) She also glibly asserted that all chronic stress is due to "structural racism". We're left to wonder how she accounts for chronic stress in white people; do people from racial minorities not endure whatever those stressors are? (Poverty would seem to account for both pretty elegantly, but it's less inflammatory.) We're also left to wonder how "structural racism" accounts for the "weathering" of recent immigrants, when many of those people come from places where they are not racial minorities--but those people are often poor, so why pretend this is more about race than poverty? I'm not arguing that her hypothesis is wrong, but that she's offered virtually nothing to support it, and nothing whatsoever to test it (attempted falsification). She's plainly not a scientist, and this sort of garbage just riles people by invoking racism rather than the mundane (more likely correct) explanation of poverty.

Apr 29th
Reply

hey man I'm a fan

An inexcusably lazy and poorly researched interview. The intro references overpopulation but the conversation that follows fails to mention that the one child policy was reversed because the government needs more people not fewer. The title bears no resemblance to the content: not one effect beyond personal was truly addressed or even acknowledged, be it demographic, economic, sociopolitical or cultural. There's the conceit that the film is more than a chronicle of one family's heart-wrenching lore and should serve as an eye-opener but there is tremendous amount of research into the practices and actual effects of China's population program . See at least Mara Hvistendahl's excellent Unnatural Selection, a Pulitzer finalist in 2011.

Jan 7th
Reply

Philly Burbs

Everybody has been wondering what happened to our country, todays GOP are from the bottom of the barrel easily bought off. gerrymandering, voter suppression & RNC CHEATING.

Dec 25th
Reply (1)

Билэгтийн Баатарцогт

.

Dec 16th
Reply

calafia

I thought my app was malfunctioning, but the sound makes it impossible to listen.

Nov 21st
Reply (1)

Peter Lansdale

the sound is messed up

Nov 16th
Reply

Alex Mercedes

somehow, Remnick too often sounds/feels antagonistic. Makes me grind my teeth as I listen...so...unsubscribing from podcast today. Fresh Air interviews many of the same people, poses challenging questions, permits a closer look without sounding like the verge of an argument.

Nov 11th
Reply

Alex Mercedes

Jelani hits the nail on the head. Trump is mentally imbalanced and this is not being taken seriously enough.

Oct 13th
Reply

Alex Mercedes

if this had been the first episode I ever heard...the climate change report was too short to say much and the conversation with the Congressman was worthless, as in unfocused questions and blah blah SOS politician talk. it's okay. I know you can do better -- I've heard past episodes.

Sep 16th
Reply

Rachel McVey

important topic -- personally, not a fan of this different "investigation" kind of format for the episode

Sep 15th
Reply

Robby Mckelvey

Cortez is a retard..

Sep 13th
Reply

Alex Mercedes

tough interview. she handled herself well.

Sep 2nd
Reply (1)

Alex Mercedes

only 2 minutes in and already my time is well spent. I did not grow up with Internet. I predate it and the description at 1:40 is exactly how it seems to me too (with unlivable being the essential descriptor) though most people tell me I'm being harsh or hysterical. thanks for the validation.

Aug 27th
Reply (1)

Pema Karma Deschen

LOL. Great interview... Lena is so well spoken and articulate. But did anyone catch the end where he said thank you Amelia after he clinked her glass? Interesting in particular to me because I have been listening to old podcasts..currently August 2019...but I JUST finished listening to the Amelia Clarke interview.hmmmmmm. They weren't anywhere near one another Amelia was 2018 I think? 😲🤔😄

Aug 20th
Reply

ABR

First interview was great, no thanks to Wickenden. I have to admit, there were several times I felt like screaming at her. She has a very poor understanding of the adolescent experience in the late 20th and early 21st century. And for the record, many teenage girls are into guns and explosives too.

May 30th
Reply

Natalia Mironova

I am crying from happiness, right now! The most fragile social group of sybarite Southern Aristocrats found!

May 26th
Reply

Wendy Bruder

The idea of endless growth NEEDS to end. Humans need to stop procreating and change our ways drastically. Glad to day no progeny of mine will be forced to live on the planet humans have destroyed.

May 10th
Reply (1)

Toby Barraud

Why aren't the prosecutors named in this radio program? I agree with John Thompson : they are guilty of attempted murder. It's an outrage the legal system refuses to hold them accountable. The very least punishment they suffer should be the public recognition of what they did.

Jan 30th
Reply

Rachel McVey

Thanks for having David Bentley Hart on the show to talk about his translation of the New Testament! I was a member of a Bible church until age 24 and was "in the word" every day, instructing others in the scriptures -- while trying my best not to think too much about research on the history of the Bible and its translation that suggested my leather bound NIV might not be precisely God's truth. After listening to this episode, I immediately bought a copy of Hart's translation. It will be the first Bible I'll have opened in more than two years!

Dec 23rd
Reply
Download from Google Play
Download from App Store