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. 


A Rookie Reporter in Vietnam Captures the War’s Futility  

A rookie reported from Vietnam in 1967, and his eyewitness report on the strategic demolition of a village helped change how we saw the Vietnam War. 

Maggie Haberman: Gang War in the White House  

Maggie Haberman covered Donald Trump years ago for the New York tabloids. Now, in the White House, she has a front-row seat to an Administration in which “rival gangs” are vying for control. Plus, Bob Odenkirk’s amazing exercise tips, and Bruce Eric Kaplan on the naughty TV specials of his youth.    

The Man Who Would Be King (of Mars)  

Phil Davies doesn’t seem like a mad scientist bent on conquering another planet: he’s a mild-mannered general practitioner in a small town in southern England. But, with a telescope and an array of lasers, he’s making a claim that he owns Mars, and he’s presented it to the United Nations. Some thirteen thousand prospective landowners have signed on to his plan. What’s a country doctor going to do with a planet, anyway?      

Trumpcare Revisited  

The future of health care in America hangs in the balance as the Senate releases a revised bill to replace the Affordable Care Act. David Remnick talks with the historian Jill Lepore, and with Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, an architect of Obamacare who has met with the Trump Administration, about the future of expanding coverage.

Lucinda Williams Talks with Ariel Levy  

Lucinda Williams won a Grammy for the song “Passionate Kisses,” which was performed by Mary Chapin-Carpenter; but she spent many years overlooked by the music industry: she was too country for rock and too rock for country.  In 1998, American music caught up to her, and her album "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road"  broke through.  The staff writer Ariel Levy sat down with Williams at the New Yorker Festival in 2012 to talk about God, Flannery O’Connor, and the musician’s path through the music industry.  Williams also performed live.

James Taylor Will Teach you Guitar  

James Taylor’s songs are so familiar that they seem to have always existedOn stage at the New Yorker Festival in 2010, Taylor peeled back some of his influences: the Beatles, Bach, show tunes, and Antonio Carlos Jobim. Taylor played a few of his hits and gave staff writer Adam Gopnik a quick lesson.    

My Night at Mar-a-Lago  

Donald Trump’s winter White House is his private club and family residence, Mar-a-Lago. We go there ourselves to take the political temperature of Palm Beach and sample the President’s brand of Chardonnay, while, somewhere nearby, the President deals with a foreign-policy crisis.

"Okja" and Other Strange Stories by Jon Ronson  

David Remnick talks with the writer Jon Ronson about the surreal world of "Okja" he co-wrote with director Boon Joon-ho. Plus the U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith takes us on a walk in the woods.

Episode 88: Ai Weiwei, and Doing Business with China  

Donald Trump’s policy of “America First” gives a rising China more room to flex its muscles. This week, we consider from many sides the complex relationship between the U.S. and China. David Remnick talks with Ai Weiwei, the dissident and global art star; a congressman asks us to reconsider trade with China; and Chinese students explain why Ivanka Trump is considered a role model in the country, and what that says about gender roles there. (Evan Osnos hosts this special episode.)

Episode 87: Virtual Reality, and the Politics of Genetics  

As scientists learn more about how genes affect everything from hair color to sexual orientation and mental health, we’re faced with moral and political questions about how we allow science to intervene in the genetic code. In this episode, Siddhartha Mukherjee, the author of the book “The Gene: An Intimate History,” talks with David Remnick about the intimate and global implications of modern genetic science, and speaks frankly about his own family history of mental illness. Plus, we visit the studio of a leading sound-effects artist; and a virtual-reality team struggles to make a V.R. experience that lives up to the hype.




Originally aired May 13, 2016

Episode 86: Merchant Ivory’s Gay Love Story, and a Visit with Noriega  

The director James Ivory talks about the film “Maurice,” based on a groundbreaking E. M. Forster novel—a gay love story with a happy ending. Jon Lee Anderson, who has covered Latin American insurgency and war, talks about his prison interview with the late Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega. And David Remnick assesses the chances for a peaceful resolution to the North Korea crisis.

Episode 85: Wedding Hair on Fire, and William Barber’s Religious Politics  

A reverend and political activist thinks that Democrats and Republicans alike need to bring a sense of morality and Christian love back into their politics. But he’s not shy about calling conservative policies “heresy.” Paul Theroux, best known as a travel writer, explains why he set his new novel in his home town. And Kristen Wiig reads a story about a bride whose vision for her wedding hair is really out of control.

Episode 84: Jerrod Carmichael, and the Truth About Impeachment  

As talk of a possible impeachment for President Trump grows more serious, Evan Osnos speaks with an expert about what impeachment really is, and what it takes to pull it off. In his first novel, a journalist imagines our current political divisions leading to all-out civil war. We talk with Jerrod Carmichael, whose comedy is not afraid to acknowledge apathy and ambivalence in the face of hot-button issues of race and politics. And Parker Posey performs a story by Demetri Martin about a summer camper from hell.

Podcast Extra: How to Impeach a President  

In some quarters, talk of impeaching Donald Trump started before Inauguration Day. But the firing of the F.B.I. director James Comey and subsequent revelations (many from the President himself) about how it happened have increased the speculation that Trump might not finish his term. The New Yorker’s Washington correspondent Evan Osnos spoke with Gregory Craig, an attorney who served on Bill Clinton’s defense team when he was impeached. Impeachment “wears the garb of a judicial process, but in reality it is fundamentally and profoundly a political process,” Craig says. “ ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’ means whatever the House of Representatives decides it means.” Nevertheless, Craig says, Donald Trump shouldn’t be sleeping too well at night.

Episode 83: Fear and the N.R.A., and Lena Dunham on the end of "Girls"  

Lena Dunham joined David Remnick hours before her thirtieth-birthday party to face the angst of leaving her twenties behind. The New Yorker staff writer Evan Osnos asks a lifelong N.R.A. member and former gun dealer how the organization’s marketing squares up with reality. And we learn how it feels when your stepfather is mistaken for your brother, in a short story by Peter Cameron. 

Segments from this episode aired on May 26, and June 24, 2016

Podcast Extra: A Hundred Days of the Trump Presidency  

Marking one hundred days of the Trump administration, David Remnick convened a group of journalists to discuss covering this presidency:  Lydia Polgreen, editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post; Eli Lake, a correspondent for Bloomberg View; MSNBC host Joy Reid; and Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold.  It was recorded at New York City's Public Theater during a series of New Yorker and Public Forum events moderated by Remnick.

Episode 82: The Sequel to “A Doll’s House,” and a President Abroad  

Some have called the firing of James Comey, the F.B.I. director, a constitutional crisis; The New Yorker’s legal expert Jeffrey Toobin weighs in. Michael Anton, of the National Security Council, tries to explain Trump’s foreign policy, while the journalist Robin Wright assesses Trump’s agenda for his first trip abroad. And a playwright revisits “A Doll’s House,” Henrik Ibsen’s once shocking play about a woman who leaves her family, a hundred and thirty-eight years after its première. 

Episode 81: Roger Corman’s Monsters, and a Roomful of Spies  

In these three conversations from past New Yorker Festivals, some no-longer-covert agents share the truth about espionage. Roger Corman talks about creating a new template for independent movies, and whether “Sharktopus” has a message. And the actress Toni Collette revisits the many characters she’s played, including Tara, who suffers from dissociative identity disorder and is many characters in one.


Episode 80:  CNN’s Jeff Zucker, the Man Who Made Trump  

At NBC, Jeff Zucker put Donald Trump on national TV; now he’s at CNN, and Trump seems to have it in for all the “fake news” that he claims Zucker promotes about the Administration. A reporter digs for clues about Steve Bannon’s murky years in Hollywood. A cartoonist and TV writer fulfills his lifelong dream of crawling inside the television. And a father and son find a new bond in a story nearly three thousand years old.

Episode 79: Senator Elizabeth Warren, and How to Pick a Great Cartoon  

The senior senator from Massachusetts tells David Remnick her plan for the Democrats to regain lost ground. The poet Gregory Pardlo remembers his father’s role in the infamous strike that led to more than eleven thousand air-traffic controllers losing their jobs. And the cartoon editor Bob Mankoff shows up in David Remnick’s office with his weekly batch of cartoons.

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