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.


Top 10 Best Books for These Times  

The New York Times has picked its top 10 books for 2016. Radhika Jones, New York Times editorial director for books, reviews their list and listeners share their picks.

Trump's Mixed Messages for LGBTQ+ Community  

Sarah Kate, President and CEO of GLAAD , discusses the launch of the Trump Accountability Project (or TAP), which aims to be a media resource, tracking and cataloging false facts and misleading information coming out of the Trump administration.

South Koreans Rally to Protest Corruption Scandal  

Charles Armstrong, director of the center for Korean Research at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), discusses the recent political turmoil and corruption scandal surrounding South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

NYCHA Moves Ahead With Federal Ban on Smoking in Public Housing  

The federal government has enacted a ban on smoking in all public housing. Cindy Rodriguez, WNYC reporter, reports on the ramifications for residents who live in NYCHA housing — which is the largest public housing agency in the country — and how the ban will be implemented.

@BrianLehrer The problem with the smoking ban is enforcement. Other drugs are illegal already, but that doesn't mean they are not there.

— Jason Ocaña (@brocana91) December 2, 2016

.@BrianLehrer I see "no smokers" in apartment ads all the time. People who don't smoke shouldn't have to breathe in other people's smoke.

— Persa Verance (@PurlMaster55) December 2, 2016
Conflicting Views on Conflicts of Interest  

New York Times investigative reporter in the Washington bureau, Eric Lipton, talks about his reporting on President-elect Donald Trump's potential conflicts of interest around the world and his tweeted plans to resolve them.

Tackling Segregation in NYC's Schools  

Ritchie Torres, New York City Council Member (15th District) representative of the Central Bronx, and Yasmeen Khan, education reporter for WNYC, talk about the latest efforts to increase racial and economic diversity in NYC's public schools, including a proposed bill from Councilmember Torres to make it a human rights issue and the newly approved plan for some Upper West Side schools.  


Democracy Debrief: Voting Access  

Wendy Weiser, director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center, follows up on Tuesday's deep dive into counting (and recounting) electronic and paper ballots with a look at access to the voting booth — voter fraud, voter restrictions and what a Trump Justice Department will mean for ballot access in future elections.


How to Make the Most of Your Protest  

Tina Rosenberg, winner of a MacArthur grant, is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and the author of three books including Join the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World, talks about how protests throughout history have led to concrete policy change and how current and future protests, like the Women's March on Washington, will likely fare. 


New York City Remembers the AIDS Epidemic  

As New York City dedicates its AIDS Memorial in the park across from what was St. Vincent's Hospital where so many New Yorkers suffered and died from the disease, we're joined by David France, director of the Oscar-Nominated documentary "How to Survive a Plague," a contributing editor for New York Magazine and the author of How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS (Knopf, 2016), to talk about the "plague years" and how the city and the world responded.

Behind the Scenes at City Hall: Jonathan Rosen and the Mayor  

In a response to a lawsuit filed by NY1 and The Post, City Hall disclosed thousands of emails between New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, his aides, and communications consultant Jonathan Rosen. 

Brigid Bergin, WNYC City Hall and politics reporter, and Grace Rauh, NY1 political reporter, talk about city news, including the implications of Mayor de Blasio's emails, released on the evening of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Thomas Friedman on Trump's Climate Change About-face  

Thomas Friedman, New York Times columnist and the author of many books, including The World Is Flat, asked several of the questions during the meeting between the New York Times and President-elect Trump. He talks about the transition and his new book, Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016).

→ See Thomas Friedman in Conversation with Gidi Grinstein: The World is Fast on Wednesday, November 30th, 7:30 pm at the 92nd Street Y.

The 'Hamilton Electors'  

Kyle Cheney, reporter for POLITICO’s Campaign Pro, talks about the group calling themselves “Hamilton Electors” after Alexander Hamilton’s view that the Electoral College could operate independently of the states’ popular votes.  He’s joined by Polly Baca, former Colorado State Senator and current Colorado Elector. 

Post-Castro and Pre-Trump: The Economic Outlook for Cuba  

José Fernandez, co-chair of Gibson Dunn’s Latin America Practice Group and former Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs, discusses the difficulty facing Cuba’s economic future as the country’s leadership seeks to maintain power while liberalizing the economy, in hopes of improving the quality of life for Cubans.

From Wall Street to Pennsylvania Avenue  

Felix Salmon, senior editor at Fusion, discusses Donald Trump's selection of former Goldman Sachs executive Steven Mnuchin as his Treasury Secretary. The Wall Street banker is now chief executive of Dune Capital Management, a privately owned hedge fund, and had previously spent 17 years as a partner at Goldman Sachs, but Mnuchin's first proposal is to move forward with tax cuts solely for middle-class families. 

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like the Holidays  

Listeners call in to share their favorite holiday traditions in New York City.

@BrianLehrer Even tho I'm Jewish, I attend church service on Christmas Eve to sing a cappella Silent Night by candlelight. #alliscalm

— Pam Terenzi (@PamTerenzi) November 29, 2016

@BrianLehrer The Holiday Train Show at the NY Botanical Gardens! All decorations and accessories made from plants. Magical!

— Stephanie Heacox (@SeniorHomeshare) November 29, 2016

@BrianLehrer Bring out of town visitors to NY's best kept secret: Cafe Taci Opera Night!

— jmullaly (@jmullaly) November 29, 2016

@BrianLehrer Take the family to Theater! Highly recommend @NYCkidstheater for excellent, reasonably priced productions.

— Melanie Weinraub (@MelanieWeinraub) November 29, 2016
Optimism and Humor After Losing  

Josie Long, British comedian, discusses her new stand-up show, “Something Better,” about the importance of optimism and hope after a political defeat.

→  ‘JOSIE LONG: SOMETHING BETTER’ runs Saturday at 5:30 p.m., Sunday through Wednesday at 8 p.m., Barrow Street Theater, 27 Barrow Street, at Seventh Avenue South, West Village.

International Update: Syria and Trump's Secretary of State  

David Sanger, national security correspondent for The New York Times, discusses the current military strikes in Aleppo and the debate around President-elect Donald Trump's choices for Secretary of State.

'Impending Crisis' for Antiquated Voting Machines  

Larry Norden, deputy director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center, talks about to expect from the recount process in Wisconsin (with Michigan and Pennsylvania to potentially follow) and what happens if miscounts are discovered.

Political Jockeying in the House as Democrats Vote on Leadership  

As Rep. Nancy Pelosi faces a challenge to her position as House Minority leader from Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan in a vote that will happen Wednesday, Hakeem Jeffries, U.S. Representative (D-NY8), discusses the political jockeying in the House and confirms his support for Congresswoman Pelosi. Heather Caygle, Congress reporter for POLITICO, joins afterward to provide additional analysis and Democrats call in to voice their concerns for their party.

Tim Tebow: From Football Star to Baseball Rookie  

Tim Tebow, two-time national champion, first round NFL draft pick, and Heisman trophy winner who just signed with the New York Mets and the author of Shaken: Discovering Your True Identity in the Midst of Life's Storms (WaterBrook, 2016), talks about his new career in baseball and his charity and his faith.

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