The Brian Lehrer Show

The Brian Lehrer Show

United States

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


How Social Media Backlash is Roiling the YA Scene  

Kat Rosenfield, a freelance writer and YA author, discusses her latest article in New York Magazine which looks at how social media-fueled criticisms can ruin a YA book's chances at success -- and how these Twitter "call outs" are making YA authors, publishers and agents afraid of offending the social media mob.


Looking Into Trump's Foreign Business Deals  

Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Trump, is now looking at the president's past real-estate deals and other business dealings.  Adam Davidson, a staff writer at The New Yorker, examines one foreign deal which could come up in the investigation: a stalled 2011 plan to build a Trump Tower in Batumi, a city on the Black Sea in the Republic of Georgia, a deal which is intertwined with a Kazakh oligarch who has direct links to Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin. 

A 'New Incarnation of the White Supremacy Movement'  

A.C. Thompson, ProPublica staff reporter, talks about what he calls the "new incarnation of the white supremacy movement" that was on display over the weekend in Charlottesville, and reacts to the president's remarks on the violence.  

Alternatives to 911 for Mental Health Crises  

Families with a member facing a mental health crisis have an alternative to dialing 911: mobile crisis teams. A mobile crisis team is a group of health professionals, such as nurses, social workers and psychiatrists, who can provide mental health services, primarily in people's homes.

Cindy Rodriguez, WNYC reporter, Lance Winslow, Mobile Crisis supervisor, and Steve Coe, CEO of Community Access explain how mobile crisis teams work, and discuss other alternatives to calling law enforcement when emotionally disturbed people experience a mental health crisis.

To reach a mobile crisis team, people must call NYC Well, which is the city's mental health hotline. 

A Nation Responds to Charlottesville  

This weekend a white supremacist rally in Virginia protesting a plan to remove a confederate era statue led to violence and death in Charlottesville Virginia. Domestic Affairs Correspondent for The New York Times Sheryl Gay Stolberg and FiveThirtyEight political writer, Perry Bacon Jr. discuss the violence Charlottesville, its aftermath, and examine the nation's response. 

The Legacy of Lynching in America  

Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director of Equal Justice Initiative, professor of law at New York University Law School and author of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption (Spiegel & Grau, 2015), and Anne Pasternak, director of the Brooklyn Museum, talk about the museum's current exhibit, The Legacy of Lynching: Confronting Racial Terror in America, which traces the history of racial injustice in America with a specific focus on how lynching was used as a tool of racial control, to reestablish white supremacy and suppress black civil rights after slavery was formerly abolished. 

Trump's Threats Are Good For Kim Jong-un  

Last week tension between the United States and North Korea reached a fever pitch, with President Donald Trump saying Tuesday that North Korea will be "met with fire and fury like the world has never seen" if it continues to threaten America.

Fred Kaplan, Slate's War Stories columnist and author of Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War analyzes the likelihood of a nuclear conflict with Kim Jong-un's regime and Jean Lee, Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, reports from Seoul on how President Trump's war of words with North Korea is being heard by citizens in North and South Korea. 

Can National Parks Be Too Popular?  

Jonah Ogles, articles editor at Outside Magazine, talks about the run on applications for senior lifetime passes and the debate over capping admissions to certain national parks plus listeners share their national park stories.  

Brian Lehrer Weekend: Divisive Politics, NYC Movies, Pop Culture Stereotypes  

In case you missed them, hear three of our favorite segments from the week:

Divisive Politics (First) | NYC's Classic Movies (Starts 27:16) | Pop Culture Stereotypes (Starts 48:05)


If you don't subscribe to the Brian Lehrer Show on iTunes, you can do that here.

Identifying as Asian-American and the Notion of Belonging  

With the Justice Department calling for an end to affirmative action in US universities, Jay Caspian Kang, a writer at large for the New York Times Magazine, discusses his new article, which chronicles the death of college freshman Michael Deng, from hazing and how it relates to larger questions. of Asian-American identity and notions of belonging. 

ACS's Response to How They Handle Cases of Abuse and Neglect  

Over the summer, the New Yorker and the New York Times separately looked into when and why the Administration for Children's Services removes children from homes in NYC. It's an issue, we looked into earlier this week

David Hansell, Commissioner of ACS, discusses the ACS new reform-focused agenda, including training caseworkers to recognize "implicit bias," which might lead them unconsciously to treat some families different than others. He'll also discuss what has happened with reporting issues of neglect and/or abuse and the responses in the aftermath of the death of 6-year-old Zymere Perkins in 2016. 

ACA Enrollment Is Right Around the Corner  

As ACA enrollment season approaches, Amy GoldsteinWashington Post healthy policy reporter and author of Janesville: An American Story (Simon & Schuster, 2017) talks about how the Trump administration may hinder the process and the mystery marketplaces are facing since "repeal and replace" died in Congress. Plus, Jim Klein, President of the American Benefits Council, explain what changes individuals who get their health insurance through their employees can expect. 

Ask the Mayor: Funding Lawyers for Low Income Tenants  

Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York City, takes calls from listeners and discusses this week NYC for the last time before the 2017 mayoral election. He talks about e-bike enforcement, the  city's freelance economy, legislation about funding lawyers for low income tenants in housing court, affordable housing, turnstile jumping, the closing of Rikers Island, and the city's effort to get homeless people off the streets. 

The Opioid Crisis Is Way More Complicated Than We Think  

As the opioid crisis continues to worsen, Mark Kleiman, professor of public policy at the NYU Marron Institute of Urban Management and at NYU Wagner and author of Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2017), and Mary Harris, WNYC's health reporter, discuss the president's decision to not declare a national emergency, his law and order approach to combat it, the under reporting of overdose deaths, and more about opioid addiction treatment and policy. Kleiman and Harris explain that the opioid crisis as we've been talking about it in the past is misleading, since it is a lot more complicated and there are more uncertainties in terms of policies and medical practices would fight it.  

Diversity in Silicon Valley  

Louise Matsakis, assistant editor at Vice’s Motherboard and Joelle Emerson, founder and CEO of Paradigm, a consulting firm that helps diversify organizations, and former women’s rights lawyer, discuss the "anti-diversity" memo that got James Damore fired from Google. Damore had used a bunch of scientific studies in which to base his generalizations about the two genders. "What I think is important to clarify is that a number of those studies from the researchers I have spoken to and feedback I've gotten, is that they're not necessarily put in the right context. And he used one point of research, evolutionary psychology in order to make those generalizations about the sexes and there's little he says about culture influences that may have had accounted for the disparity," Matsakis says. 

The Widened Scope of Mueller's Investigation  

Dahlia Lithwick, who covers courts and the law for Slate and hosts the Amicus podcast, talks about the latest legal developments in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into connections between the Trump campaign and Russia, from the grand juries he's impaneled, to the documents they subpoenaed related to Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and the raid on Paul Manafort's house. 

A Deep Dive into Our Climate  

The New York Times released a draft of a climate change report by scientists from 13 federal agencies. The draft overwhelmingly states Americans are feeling the effects of climate change now. Andrew Revkin, senior reporter for climate and related issues at ProPublica, takes a deep dive into the 670-page report, the Trump administration's approach to the issue, and if there's something individuals can do on a day-to-day basis about it. "This science cannot be squashed," Revkin says. The report has voluminous sections on the knowns and unknowns of climate change, and now the onus lies with society. 

50 Years of Public Employees Unionizing  

William Herbert, distinguished lecturer at Hunter College, City University of New York, and the Executive Director of the National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions, and Joshua Freeman, distinguished professor of history at Queens College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York, discusses 50 years of the Taylor Law, which grants public employees the right to unionize. Herbert and Freeman trace the history of how the Taylor Law came to be and what has happened with its implementation. 

Changing the Minds of Hurt People Who Have Hurt People  

Risco Mention-Lewis, Deputy Police Commissioner in the Suffolk County Police Department, opens up about her work with formerly incarcerated individuals in the town of Wyandanch, in Suffolk County, on Long Island, in order to "reset the moral standard," as she puts it. She'll be joined by Micah Danney, freelance journalist, who wrote about her story for the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange. The movement is called COTA, the Council of Thought and Action, and was started by Mention-Lewis. She leads weekly meetings, comprised mostly of men who have been incarcerated, where they just talk about their lives, aiming to change minds, and ultimately lower recidivism rates.


Why is Colin Kaepernick Really Still Without a Job?  

Last NFL season, the quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, Colin Kaepernick made national headlines when he protested the national anthem. NFL preseason games began this week and Kaepernick remains unsigned. Neil Painesenior sportswriter for FiveThirtyEight, and Scott Davis, sports reporter for Business Insider, talk about the possible political and financials reasons for why that is. 

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