Podcast

The Brian Lehrer Show

Brian Lehrer leads the conversation about what matters most now in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives.

Episodes

  • The History of Memorial Day

    May 24 2019

    Kenneth C. Davis, author of the "Don't Know Much About History" series and In the Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden History of Slavery, Four Presidents, and Five Black Lives (reprint, Square Fish, 2019), talks about the origins of Memorial Day. Happy Memorial Day! and visit Davis' website.

  • Foster Youth Stories

    May 24 2019

    Virginia Vitzthum, editor of Represent, a national magazine by and for youth in foster care, talks about the stories shared in the magazine and the awards for Youth in Foster Care. Pauline Gordon, former award winner who works in social services with foster children and Demetria Mack, award winner headed to Howard University this fall, also join the conversation.

  • #AsktheMayor: Eric Garner; Taxi Medallions; Affordable Housing; Libraries

    May 24 2019

    Bill de Blasio, New York City Mayor , takes calls from listeners and discusses this week in NYC. We discuss: Eric Garner, Taxi Medallions Affordable Housing: Homelessness; Libraries; Campaign Trip Security Payments

  • Trump and Deutsche Bank

    May 24 2019

    Andrea Bernstein, senior editor for politics and policy and host of the Trump, Inc. podcast at WNYC, explores the long relationship between President Trump and his longtime lender, Deutsche Bank.

  • What London Can Teach NYC About Congestion Pricing

    May 23 2019

    New York City will make history when it becomes the first city in the country to implement congestion pricing. Bobby Cuza, political reporter for NY1, and Tony Travers, visiting professor in the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) Department of Government and Director of LSE London, talk about what New Yorkers can learn from London, a city where congestion pricing has been around since 2003.  "In a city, you either ration by queuing or you ration by a price system," says Tony...more

  • Observing Ramadan in 2019

    May 23 2019

    For millions of Muslims, Ramadan means no eating and no drinking during daylight hours for a full month. We ask observers how they are balancing the act of honoring Ramadan while leading busy lives.

  • Buying Influence is a Bipartisan Issue

    May 23 2019

    Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, junior United States Senator from Rhode Island and author of Captured: The Corporate Infiltration of American Democracy, talks about how corporations, through dark money, buy political influence on every level of the government, from senators to regulators.  "You get the loathsome Scott Pruitt, a total fossil fuel stooge, actually given the position of the EPA Administrator. The shamelessness has moved the bar and made the corruption that big interests pursue less no...more

  • Race and Specialized High School Admissions

    May 23 2019

    Ahead of Thursday's public hearing in Manhattan, New York Senator John Liu (D, 11-Queens), chair of the NYC Education Committee, talks about Albany's role in addressing diversity in NYC schools, including proposals to change the admissions process at the specialized high schools. He’s joined by Senator Robert Jackson (D-31 West Side and Upper Manhattan) to talk about the hearing in his district. To RSVP for the Manhattan Community Forum on School Diversity & Specialized High School Admission...more

  • Our Hair, Our Stories

    May 22 2019

    Rohina Hoffman, fine art photographer, neurologist and author of Hair Stories (Damiani, 2019), explores the significance of women's hair through her art and interviews with women of varying ages and ethnicities. When my mother started losing her hair due to chemo, she was encouraged to get a wig. She refused, and chose to shave her head instead. Her response to anyone who expressed concern was, "Let'em stare, I'm have other things to worry about." She wore her baldness like armor. — Devin Nunes...more

  • India and Australia's Polarizing Leaders Will Likely Remain

    May 22 2019

    Krishna Andavolu, correspondent for Vice News Tonight, and Jamie Tarabay, a correspondent for The New York Times based in Sydney, Australia, discuss the dramatic election results in India and Australia, and take listener calls.

  • NYC's Immigration Court Is a 'Pressure Cooker'

    May 22 2019

    Beth Fertig, WNYC senior reporter covering courts and legal affairs, talks about her latest reporting on the city's immigration courts, and the pressures that judges are under. "It’s very frightening for the people going," to immigration court in NYC, says @bethfertig. "Most don’t speak English, many don’t have lawyers, many don’t realize it’s just a procedural hearing... they think they’re going into court and they’re going to be deported that day." — Brian Lehrer Show (@BrianLehrer) May 22, 2...more

  • Democrats Skirmish Over Impeachment

    May 22 2019

    Michael Scherer, national political reporter for The Washington Post, talks about the latest in the skirmish between Congress and the White House over subpoenas for information and testimony, and the reports of growing support for starting formal impeachment proceedings among House Democrats. "We're entering into a legally muddy area", @michaelscherer says of the White House resisting congressional investigations, which is why we're hearing the calls for impeachment get louder. — Brian Lehrer S...more

  • What New York City Owes Eric Garner

    May 21 2019

    Mara Gay, New York Times editorial board member and Phil Stinson, professor and criminologist at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, reports on the latest from the administrative trial of police officer Daniel Pantaleo who killed Eric Garner in 2015. Plus, what we've learned about police transparency and accountability in the four years the Garner family has been waiting for justice and disciplinary action.  And national politics.     

  • The SAT's New Adversity Score

    May 21 2019

    Scott Jaschik, editor and co-founder of Inside Higher Ed., explains why the College Board plans to assign an adversity score to every student who takes the SAT. The score is meant to assess the student's economic and social background.

  • Anita Hill's Courage and PEN America

    May 21 2019

    Attorney, law professor, equal rights activist and recipient of the 2019 PEN Courage award, Anita Hill and PEN America chief executive officer, Suzanne Nossel talk about Prof. Hill's work on behalf of gender and racial equality and her award. There will be a live stream of the gala in which Anita Hill will be honored tonight, May 21, 2019 at pen.org

  • Scott Pelley's Stories from 45 Years as a Journalist

    May 21 2019

    60 Minutes correspondent and former CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley, now the author of Truth Worth Telling: A Reporter's Search for Meaning in the Stories of Our Times (Hanover Square Press, 2019) talks about the importance of a free press through the stories of individuals he has interviewed in his 45 years in journalism.

  • How Fury Can Fuel the Fight for Reproductive Rights

    May 20 2019

    In the wake of Alabama's abortion bans, more states announce their rollbacks on reproductive rights. Rebecca Traister, writer-at-large for New York Magazine and the author of, most recently, Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger (Simon & Schuster, 2018), talks about how angry women can channel their rage to fight back.

  • In Defense of Liberalism

    May 20 2019

    Staff writer for The New Yorker, Adam Gopnik, also author of A Thousand Small Sanities: The Moral Adventure of Liberalism Basic Books (Basic Books, 2019) argues that "liberalism" is not a political ideology, but a way of life.

  • What's New in New York? The Census; Budgets; Wages and More

    May 20 2019

    City Hall and politics reporter for WNYC, Brigid Bergin and executive editor of Gotham Gazette and co-host of the Max & Murphy podcast, Ben Max  talk about what de Blasio's presidential bid means for NYC. Plus the latest on city budget negotiations and the Charter Review Commission feedback.

  • Monday Morning Politics With Shawna Thomas: Student Loan Debt; Abortions Laws; Politics

    May 20 2019

    Shawna Thomas, Washington bureau chief at VICE News talks about the latest political news out of Washington.

  • 10 Minute Explainer: Robocalls

    May 17 2019

    Maureen Mahoney, policy analyst at Consumer Reports, breaks down how robocalls work and what — if anything — people can do to stop them.

  • 2020 Ideas Festival: Baby Bonds

    May 17 2019

    Naomi Zewde, postdoctoral research scientist at the Columbia University Center on Poverty and Social Policy, discusses her study of 2020 presidential contender and NJ Senator Corey Booker's "baby bonds" proposal. The study finds that the policy would considerably narrow the racial wealth inequalities that exist today.   "If you think about how wealth works, it's accumulated over generations," @nzewde says. She adds that it's an accumulation that African American families haven't haven't histori...more

  • Supreme Court Updates

    May 17 2019

    NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg, breaks down the current slate of SCOTUS cases and talks about the issues the court will likely take up in the future. Alabama law would, "likely, almost certainly, unless something really weird happened," be struck down by a lower court, @NinaTotenberg says. SCOTUS could leave it there and not get involved. More likely to "chip away" slowly at Roe.-The Brian Lehrer Show (@brianlehrer) Key constitutional issues, as defined by SCOTUS precedent: 1) "...more

  • Ask the Mayor

    May 17 2019

    Bill de Blasio, New York City Mayor and recently announced democratic primary contender, takes calls from listeners and discusses this week in NYC. We've been doing our weekly #AskTheMayor call-in for years. Now, the WNYC @datanews team made a word cloud of those conversations over time. Check it out! Notice any patterns? https://infogram.com/bill-de-blasios-favorite-words-1h7j4d9x5pvd2nr?live-The Brian Lehrer Show (@brianlehrer) Q: Will the campaign affect how you run the city? A: "This is my ...more

  • De Blasio as Candidate

    May 17 2019

    Ben Max, executive editor of Gotham Gazette and co-host of the Max & Murphy podcast, talks about the first day of Mayor Bill de Blasio's presidential campaign. Plus, WNYC's Brigid Bergin calls in to report from the field on the Mayor's first campaign stop, an ethanol plant in Iowa. @brigidbergin joins the show from Iowa, where she's covering de Blasio's first official campaign event. "It's still early" to judge Iowans opinion of the @NYCMayor. Brigid: Workers at the rental car kiosk -- two ...more

  • 10-Minute Explainer: Roe v. Wade

    May 16 2019

    Mary Ziegler, Stearns Weaver Miller Professor at Florida State University College of Law and author of Beyond Abortion: Roe v. Wade and the Battle for Privacy (Harvard University Press, 2018), explains the history of Roe v. Wade and the precedent it sets on the current abortion debate. "If the court overrules Roe, it would probably be over a long period of time, over a series of judicial rulings that kind of hinted at what the court was about to do." @Mary_zieglerfsu says- The Brian Lehrer Show...more

  • 2020 Ideas Festival: Buy Assault Weapons Back From Owners

    May 16 2019

    For this installment of our 2020 Ideas Festival, California congressman and democratic presidential candidate Eric Swalwell talks about his buyback plan to get assault weapons off the street. @ericswalwell's plan: ATF administers a buyback, over the course of 2 years. If you want to keep your assault rifle, you would have to keep it at a shooting range or club. It's about keeping assault weapons "out of our communities."-The Brian Lehrer Show (@brianlehrer)   With 15 million assault rifles ou...more

  • San Francisco Banned Facial Recognition. Should New York?

    May 16 2019

    In light of San Francisco's ban on the use of facial recognition technology, Albert Fox Cahn, executive director of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (STOP) at the Urban Justice Center, discusses the use of facial recognition in New York City, and what the advent of other surveillance technology means for privacy. "NY has one of the broadest deployments of facial recognition" in the country. @CahnLawNY says NYPD has a facial database. MTA's automatic toll processing on bridges also ...more

  • 2020 Ideas Festival: Rent Subsidies

    May 16 2019

    To combat high housing costs, Senators Kamala Harris and Corey Booker — both democratic primary contenders — have proposedoffering monthly subsidies to those paying more than 30 percent of their income in rent. Noëlle Porter, director of government affairs at the National Housing Law Project, discusses Harris's plan. "When we fill this gap monthly, and allow people to catch up, we allow them to build their assets over time." -@noe1le Porter of the National Housing Law Project on How rental assi...more

  • What Will de Blasio's Presidential Campaign Look Like?

    May 16 2019

    This morning, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his candidacy for president. Christina Greer, co-host of the New York politics podcast “FAQ NYC” and associate professor of political science at Fordham University, considers how he will make his case to voters across the country, and what New Yorkers think about his campaign. "The person who makes the last entrance to the party, or to the Ball, sometimes get the most attention." @Dr_CMGreer on the timing of de Blasio's entrance to the 2020 primary f...more

  • 10 Minute Explainer: Fast Fashion

    May 15 2019

    In light of the U.S. trade war with China, Elizabeth Cline explains how the "fast fashion" industry is fueled by cheap production overseas, and how consumers can build a more ethical closet. Cline is a journalist, clothing resale expert and author of the forthcoming book, The Conscious Closet: The Revolutionary Guide to Looking Good While Doing Good (Plume, 2019).     Fast fashion -- trendy, mass-manufactured, affordable clothes -- relies on the abundance of cheap labor around the world, says @e...more

  • Ideas Festival 2020: How Do We End Child Poverty?

    May 15 2019

    Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, from Connecticut's 3rd congressional district is the sponsor of the House of Representatives version of the American Family Act of 2019. The Senate sponsor is 2020 candidate Michael Bennet, a Colorado democrat. For our Ideas Festival: 2020 Edition, Rep. DeLauro discusses how the bill takes aim at child poverty. Rep. DeLauro is the author of The Least Among Us: Waging the Battle for the Vulnerable (The New Press, 2017). @rosadelauro: American Family Act expands tax cr...more

  • The 'Online' Left vs. the 'Real' Left

    May 15 2019

    New York Times op-ed columnist Michelle Goldberg discusses her recent column, about whether left leaning Twitter reflects the opinions of the Democratic electorate.  A lot of people were surprised by Biden's strong poll showing, @michelleinbklyn says. This, despite the fact that Twitter Dems "hate Joe Biden," she says.- The Brian Lehrer  Show (@brianlehrer) @michelleinbklyn: The right wing conversation on social media is a microcosm of the GoP in a way that's not true of the left wing and the D...more

  • Ideas Festival 2020: Reshaping the Supreme Court?

    May 15 2019

    Ian Millhiser, columnist at ThinkProgress Justice and author of Injustices: The Supreme Court's History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted (Bold Type Books, 2016), discusses Pete Buttigieg's proposal to add more justices to the Supreme Court, and to change the way they get there.  @imillhiser: Structure of the court is arbitrary. "The Constitution ... suggests there has to be a Chief Justice, but conceivably you could have a one justice court that was just the Chief."- T...more

  • Political News Roundup

    May 15 2019

    Juana Summers, national politics reporter for the Associated Press covering the 2020 presidential campaign, ticks through the latest political news, including her recent reporting on Sen. Bernie Sanders finding someone to run against, in former Vice President Joe Biden.  "Every candidate has got to play the grassroots game to some degree," to make it into the Dem. primary debates, says @jmsummers. Each campaign has to navigate the line between grassroots and big-donor support. - Brian Lehrer Sh...more

  • 10-Minute Explainer: Secret Agent Whale

    May 14 2019

    Eleanor Cummins, assistant editor for Popular Science, talks about how animals are used by the military, as spies or as weapons themselves. "The Russians do have a long history of using animal spies for missions," says @elliepses. "New technologies are all relying on biomimicry, we’re just trying to do with technology what whales are already doing — some people are just trying to cut out the middle man." — Brian Lehrer Show (@BrianLehrer) May 14, 2019

  • Ideas Festival 2020: Break Up Big Tech

    May 14 2019

    Scott Hemphill, NYU law professor specializing in antitrust law and big tech, explains Elizabeth Warren's proposal to break up companies like Facebook, Amazon and Google, which she said have "bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit and tilted the playing field against everyone else." "At heart Senator Warren has come to the conclusion that big is bad when it comes to tech platforms and perhaps we know enough about the conduct of these firms that we can go ahead and take t...more

  • Eve Ensler on Healing Through Apology

    May 14 2019

    Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues, In the Body of the World, and now, The Apology  (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2019), discusses her new book, an imagined apology to her from her father for his sexual abuse. "I haven’t heard one man publicly make a true, accounting, reckoning apology for his misdeeds… I haven’t really seen anyone indicate that they feel what it is felt like inside a woman to be harassed or raped or beaten or incested," says Eve Ensler, author of "The Apology." — Brian Lehr...more

  • Ideas Festival 2020: A Workable Green New Deal

    May 14 2019

    Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic staff writer covering climate change and technology, details Washington Gov. Jay Inslee's climate change proposal, which promises 100 percent clean energy by 2030.  "Cars, they’re such an important part of the economy… so it will take a lot to transition the car fleet to electric vehicles," says @yayitsrob on Jay Inslee's campaign proposal which would mean that "no new gas vehicles can be sold after 2030." — Brian Lehrer Show (@BrianLehrer) May 14, 2019 "By 2030, ...more

  • The Berlin Wall of the Internet

    May 14 2019

    David Sanger, national security correspondent for The New York Times and the author of, now out in paperback, The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age (Crown, 2018), talks about America's vulnerability to cyber attacks by global adversaries, including how the rise of China's Huawei could create two different — and opposing — cyber networks. "Imagine a new Berlin Wall, but it’s built out of networks," says @SangerNYT. "One side of this wall is going to be the controlled inter...more