The New Yorker Radio Hour

The New Yorker Radio Hour

United States

The New Yorker Radio Hour is a weekly program presented by the magazine’s editor, David Remnick. 


Episode 75:  Goodbye to “Elephant and Piggie,” and Getting to Know Gorsuch  

Mo Willems, the children’s-book author who created the “Elephant and Piggie” series, stands alongside America’s literary greats. The fiction writer Rivka Galchen is moved to tears when she reads his books to her daughter. Also this week, Jill Lepore explains what the judicial philosophy known as originalism means and talks about how liberal Supreme Court Justices are trying to reclaim history for their decisions. And, at a new facility at J.F.K. Airport, dogs, cats, and even racehorses spend their layovers in style.

Episode 74: High-Fashion Hijabs, Jill Soloway, and Bluesman Blind Joe Death  

Modelling can be a tricky business for Muslim women who cover up. Judith Thurman visits Nailah Lymus, the head of a new modelling agency that represents the modestly dressed, and admires the bright, bold hijabs Lymus designs. Jill Soloway, the creator of “Transparent,” joins David Remnick in a discussion about her new show, “I Love Dick.” And two fans of the guitarist John Fahey mourn his difficult life and celebrate his transformational music.

This episode originally aired on September 16, 2016.

Podcast Extra: The Stuff of Fiction  

This podcast bonus episode features David Remnick in conversation with three great writers—the playwright Tony Kushner, the poet Claudia Rankine, and the novelist Salman Rushdie. This is an edited and condensed recording of "The Stuff of Fiction," a panel in the four-part event series Public Forum: A Well-Ordered Nation, a collaboration between the Public Theatre and The New Yorker.

Episode 73:  Refugees in Limbo, and a Conservative in Washington  

Most conservatives who opposed Donald Trump are now learning to get along with the new Administration; Stephen Hayes, the editor of The Weekly Standard, is quick to call out the President on his lies and his embrace of big government. And at a safe house in Buffalo, New York, refugees are attempting not to panic as the Trump Administration puts into effect an executive order limiting immigration and resettlement. Plus, the photographer Catherine Opie explains why she rejects snark.

Episode 72:  Goonswarm Takes Over, Trump/Nixon, and Birding with Jonathan Franzen  

A veteran of Watergate compares Nixon with Trump, the man who may be his political heir. And, in an online videogame set in space, upstarts stage a coup against establishment insiders. Plus, Jonathan Franzen, the novelist and bird-lover, takes us out birding on a beautiful day, only to find that pleasure has a price.

Podcast Extra: The "Remarkable Parallels" Between Nixon and Trump  

Richard Nixon once told a young Donald Trump that he would be “a winner” if he chose to enter politics. The New Yorker’s Amy Davidson talks with John Dean, Richard Nixon’s White House counsel who testified against Nixon during the Watergate hearings, about whether Trump can be seen as Nixon's political heir. The early days of Trump's Administration have been plagued by scandal–especially when it comes to questions about Cabinet members’ communications with Russian officials. Dean compares the situation to a secret effort by Richard Nixon—only recently documented by a historian—to sabotage the Paris Peace Talks, which the Johnson Administration pursued in 1968.“It's a very, very remarkable parallel. A curious parallel,” Dean said.


Dean is critical of the Trump Administration's handling of the F.B.I.’s investigation into the Administration’s alleged Russian connections. “If there's any lesson from Watergate, or from Iran-Contra, or the Lewinsky affair,” he says, “It is that if you don't have a problem, what you truly do is you say to the F.B.I. or whomever, ‘Come in and talk to my staff.'” He says that this is not how Trump officials are currently behaving. “Rather, they're trying to knock down press reports that are getting the various whiffs of these investigations and putting them out there. That's just not the way innocent people deal with these issues, I'm sorry!”

Episode 71:  Lily Tomlin on Love, and News from Moscow  

Lily Tomlin fell in love as a young woman and hung on, forging a romantic and working partnership that is now well into its fourth decade. She talks with the critic Hilton Als about her life with Jane Wagner. David Remnick chats with reporters based in Moscow and Washington about Donald Trump’s alleged connections to Russia. And Mary Norris, a veteran of The New Yorker, chats about life after the magazine.

Episode 70: John Goodman, Jeremy Irons, and Keegan-Michael Key  

Conversations with a few of the best actors working in film and television, Keegan-Michael Key, John Goodman, and Jeremy Irons, recorded at The New Yorker Festival.



Another Brick in Trump's Wall  

“April 4: There were taunts again today from the Mexicans on the other side of the wall. They keep making fun of our inexperience with manual labor. Most of us used to work in the arts, entertainment, or media in New York or Los Angeles, so we dont really know how to use things like . . . tools.” Jesse Wanns diary of a newly hired construction worker, drafted into service to erect President Trumps wall, was published in The New Yorkers Shouts & Murmurs. Chris Eigeman performs our adaptation.

Episode 69: Bun Cha With Obama, and Trump’s New World Disorder  

Anthony Bourdain tells David Remnick about the adventurous life he has led since his essay in The New Yorker launched him as a new kind of hard-boiled celebrity chef. The reporter Robin Wright talks to two veteran officials of intelligence and diplomacy about where Donald Trump’s foreign policy by tweet may lead us. And the fiction writer Yiyun Li takes in the view at Oaklands premier cemetery.

Episode 68:  Politics at the Oscars, and a Doctor’s-Eye View of Trump  

Meryl Streep’s critique of Donald Trump at the Golden Globes drew wide attention, and there will probably be even more political statements on Oscar night. Atul Gawande explains how the repeal of the Affordable Care Act could lead to a decline in patients seeking primary care. A rural internist talks about how much-needed immigrant doctors are being kept out of the country by Trump’s executive order. And Jia Tolentino sings a capella with the songwriter Kristen Anderson-Lopez.   

Episode 67:  How to Cover Trump’s Presidency, and Football’s Concussion Crisis  

BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith sits down with David Remnick to talk about his decision to publish an unverified dossier that alleges secret ties between Donald Trump and Russia. A former N.F.L. player grapples with the high risk of concussion for football players–while his son begins his own career in the sport. And the cartoonist Liana Finck explains why she works best on the train.    

Episode 66: The Two­-State Solution, and a Standing Desk Problem  

With relations between the United States and Israel at a turning point, we examine the peace process and the possible death of the two­state solution. Plus, a rap fan explains how Run the Jewels speaks to the problems of middle age; and that guy in the office who switched to a standing desk won’t stop singing its praises. 

Episode 65: High-Rise Lettuce Farms, and the First Woman President  

Plenty of countries have elected female leaders. In this episode, Amy Davidson tries to determine why the glass ceiling in the United States has been so durable. George Saunders explains why Abraham Lincoln was not just a President but also a spiritual leader. David Remnick talks with Dan Savage about what it’s like to give sex advice for twenty-five years, and Ian Frazier finds the future of farming in an industrial building in Newark, New Jersey. 

Episode 64:  Self-Esteem for Owls, and Newt Gingrich on the Heroin Problem  

Newt Gingrich isn’t known for bipartisanship, but he’s found a broad consensus for his efforts to address the opioid-addiction epidemic, with measures that sound surprisingly liberal. A Turkish novelist looks at what happens when nations act out of fear. A young man learns about love from Motown’s finest songwriters, and an owl with a confidence problem pumps itself up.

Episode 63: Late-Night Icon David Letterman and Songwriter Jason Isbell  

David Letterman talks with The New Yorker’s Susan Morrison about how he’s spending his retirement avoiding late-night television and tackling climate change. And Grammy Award-winning songwriter Jason Isbell talks to John Seabrook about the joys of writing, performing, and living without alcohol.

Episode 62: Laura Poitras, David Bowie’s Last Band, and the Poet Brenda Shaughnessy  

The Oscar-winning documentarian Laura Poitras (“Citizenfour”) talks to David Remnick about her first solo museum exhibition, “Astro Noise,” which channels her investigations of government surveillance into immersive installation art. A group of jazz musicians recall how David Bowie found them in a hole-in-the-wall club and enlisted them to create “Blackstar.” And the poet Brenda Shaughnessy reads Hilton Als a poem about living in a loft full of lesbians, back when New Yorkers could still afford to smoke. 

This episode originally aired on February 5, 2016.

Episode 61: Jeanette Winterson’s Christmas and Obama’s Legacy  

David Remnick assesses the successes and failures of the Obama Presidency with some of The New Yorker’s heavyweight politics reporters. Jeanette Winterson remembers Christmas as a singular bright spot in her Dickensian childhood, and the poet Ocean Vuong shares one of his favorite places to write: a busy Asian food court in Flushing, Queens.

Episode 60: What Is Trumpism?  

Will the Wall Street insiders Trump has picked to run his economy deliver on the populist promises he made? Sheelah Kolhatkar discusses Trump’s new cabinet appointees with David Remnick.  Kelefa Sanneh talks with an unlikely Trump supporter—a socially conservative Catholic university professor. William Finnegan explores the tragic state of Venezuela, and Michael Chabon shares three things that bring him consolation in anxious times.

Episode 59: The Koch Brothers and Boxing Champion Heather Hardy  

Three epic battles: Jane Mayer recounts her experience investigating—and being investigated by—Koch Industries; the boxer Heather Hardy forfeits the prize money for a fight before setting foot in the ring, but wins anyway; and Junot Díaz is stripped of his honors by the government of the Dominican Republic. Plus, the astronomer who wrote “How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming” lays out his evidence for the existence of a new ninth planet.

This episode originally aired on January 22, 2016.

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