The Brian Lehrer Show

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Newsmakers meet New Yorkers as host Brian Lehrer and his guests take on the issues dominating conversation in New York and around the world. This daily program from WNYC Studios cuts through the usual talk radio punditry and brings a smart, humane approach to the day's events and what matters most i…

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    • Dec 8, 2021 LATEST EPISODE
    • daily NEW EPISODES
    • 28m AVG DURATION
    • 1,616 EPISODES

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    Latest episodes from The Brian Lehrer Show

    Susan Glasser on Biden's Foreign Policy

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 8, 2021 20:54

    Susan Glasser, staff writer for The New Yorker, CNN global affairs analyst, joins to talk about the latest in national politics headlines, including the latest on Russia, as it mobilizes its military at the Ukrainian border, and the latest on gun laws in the United States.

    'Grading' Mayor de Blasio

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 8, 2021 51:07

    Elizabeth Kim, politics reporter for WNYC and Gothamist, Jessica Gould, WNYC/Gothamist reporter, and Stephen Nessen, transportation reporter for the WNYC Newsroom, review the accomplishments of and challenges faced by Mayor de Blasio and ask listeners to weigh in with their "grades."

    Your 28th Amendment?

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 8, 2021 20:39

    Alex Strada and Tali Keren, artists-in-residence for Queens Museum's Year of Uncertainty, talk about their new multi-media participatory artwork called "Proposal for a 28th Amendment? Is it Possible to Amend an Unequal System?" and invite listeners to weigh in. They are joined by legal scholar Julia Hernandez, associate professor of Law at the CUNY School of Law. →Visiting Queens Museum  

    What's the Craziest Thing You've Ever Found?

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 8, 2021 11:54

    Earlier this month a British teenager made news when she stumbled across a hoard of priceless Bronze Age items using a standard metal detector in a field near her home. Listeners call in with the craziest, most valuable or unexpected item they ever found and what they did with it.

    Bigger Than Self-Help: 'Attached' by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 7, 2021 21:57


    As we prepare to ring in a new year, The Brian Lehrer Show will be taking a closer read on some of the best selling self-help books. First up, Amir Levine, MD, adult, child and adolescent psychiatrist and neuroscientist, conducting neuroscience research at Columbia University and co-author of Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find - and Keep - Love (TarcherPerigee, 2012), joins to discuss his book and why it continues to be so popular for people who are dating.


    The G.O.P. Election Bills Shaping 2022 Midterms

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 7, 2021 30:06

    As the United States Department of Justice sues Texas over what they consider restrictive voting legislation in the state, Nick Corasaniti, a domestic correspondent covering national politics for The New York Times, discusses a new wave of Republican legislation aiming to change voting access and give state legislatures more authority in deciding elections ahead of the 2022 midterms.

    NYC's New Mandates

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 7, 2021 37:05

    Elizabeth Kim, politics reporter for WNYC and Gothamist, talks about New York City's new vaccine mandate, which requires all private-sector employees to get at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine by December 27th.

    Weighing the Impact of Fast Groceries

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 7, 2021 20:14

    Gale Brewer, current Manhattan Borough President (who won the June primary for her old City Council seat), talks about her office's survey of the 15-minute grocery delivery services and concerns over their impact on existing bodegas and grocers.

    How Some Democrats Have 'Betrayed' Roe v. Wade

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 6, 2021 23:11


    Rebecca Traister, writer at New York Magazine and author of Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger (Simon & Schuster, 2018), discusses how the current Supreme Court case is just the latest in a decades-long weakening of Roe v. Wade, with Democratic leadership partially to blame.


    How to Respond to Meddling Family Members

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 6, 2021 15:07

    As families gather to celebrate the holidays, many singles and unmarried couples might face questions from family members about their relationship status. Katherine Hertlein, relationship therapist and professor in the couple and family therapy program at Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at University of Nevada, joins to discuss how to respond to their intrusive questions.

    How Do Supervised Injection Sites Work?

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 6, 2021 30:12

    As two supervised injection sites in East Harlem and Washington Heights become the first of their kind in the United States, Sam Rivera executive director of OnPoint NYC, which runs the sites and Kailin See, OnPoint's senior director of programs discuss their first week of operation. Sarah Evans, former manager of Vancouver's Insite, North America's first supervised injection space, and current director of the Open Society Foundations' International Harm Reduction Development program, weighs in with her years of experience working with this type of harm reduction policy and its role in reducing fatal overdoses. 

    Biden's Winter COVID Plan

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 6, 2021 41:39

    As we head into our second winter of the pandemic, Dylan Scott, senior correspondent covering health care at Vox, discusses President Biden's new plan for the omicron variant, vaccinations, testing and more, plus the latest on Mayor Bill de Blasio's new vaccine mandates.

    Shop Listener: BIPOC and the Bronx

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 3, 2021 14:07

    Listeners call in to shout out underrepresented business communities, including, in particular, Black-owned businesses, and businesses from the Bronx. Business owners can fill out some information here to be included on the next update of the gift guide.  Check out the businesses participating so far here. 

    What's Behind the NY Nursing Shortage?

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 3, 2021 40:03

    From pandemic burn out to early retirement to competing with traveling nurses, New York nurses are dropping out of the industry. First, Maya Kaufman, health care reporter for Crain's New York, discusses the latest New York healthcare related headlines.  Then, Pat Kane, RN, executive director of the New York State Nurses Association, talks about her profession right now.  

    Ask the Mayor: Looking at Affordable Housing

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 3, 2021 32:50

    Bill de Blasio, New York City Mayor, looks back on affordable housing policy over his tenure including creating new development while maintaining current housing, striking a balance between the needs of tenants and landlords while keeping people in their homes. 

    Where is Chinese Tennis Star Peng Shuai?

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 3, 2021 15:37

    After Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai accused an ex-government official of sexual assault, the former Grand Slam Doubles champion has all but disappeared. Now, amid concerns over the Shuai's safety, the WTA has suspended tournaments in China. Liz Clarke, Washington Post sports reporter, explains.

    The Latest on Omicron: Connecting to the AIDS Epidemic

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 2, 2021 27:50

    Following World AIDS Day Wafaa El-Sadr, Columbia University professor of epidemiology and medicine and director Columbia World Projects and International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs, draws connections between work tracing and treating HIV and research on coronavirus, including the omicron variant which was discovered in part because of robust sequencing systems in southern Africa. 

    Why NJ Is Getting Rid of It's Port Watchdog

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 2, 2021 14:25

    New Jersey has recently moved to withdraw from an agency that was created to root out corruption at New York and New Jersey seaports. Jennifer Smith, reporter at The Wall Street Journal covering logistics and supply chain joins to discuss the repercussions of that move, which the Supreme Court declined to hear.

    SCOTUS Weighs in on Abortion Rights

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 2, 2021 29:58

    On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, the Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, the lead litigator in the case, joins to unpack positions and statements from Supreme Court justices as we hear excerpts from the hearing. 

    Rep. Suozzi Runs for Governor

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 2, 2021 37:08

    Tom Suozzi, U.S. Representative (D-NY3, parts of Long Island and Queens) joins to discuss his bid to be the next governor of New York.

    Barbados is Now a Republic

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2021 23:45

    Barbados has removed Queen Elizabeth as its head of state, making the small Caribbean country the world's youngest republic. Kobie Broomes, 1st Vice President of Barbados Youth Development Council and multimedia specialist at Barbados Today, discusses this transition and its significance.

    Omicron News Continues

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2021 21:05

    The omicron variant continues to force policymakers around the world to adjust travel rules and public health guidance as sequencing data continues to solidify. Leana Wen, emergency physician, professor at George Washington University, contributing columnist for The Washington Post, CNN medical analyst, and former Baltimore Health Commissioner and the author of Lifelines: A Doctor's Journey in the Fight for Public Health (Metropolitan Books, 2021), discusses the latest research and identifies gaps in new U.S. travel restrictions from southern Africa and suggests policies to beset mitigate the spread of omicron. 

    Eric Adams Transition, NY Omicron Response, and More

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2021 25:27


    Gloria Pazmino, politics reporter at Spectrum News New York 1, and Elizabeth Kim, politics reporter for Gothamist and WNYC, talk about the latest in local politics.


    After Kyle Rittenhouse, What About Chrystul Kizer?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2021 36:51

    After Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted earlier this month, another self-defense case in Kenosha, Wisconsin, is drawing renewed attention from advocates. Kami Chavis, director of the criminal justice program at Wake Forest Law, and Jessica Contrera, reporter for The Washington Post, talk about the case of Chrystul Kizer, who faces homicide charges for killing her adult sex abuser when she was 17 years old, how Kizer's case compares to Rittenhouse's, and why some claims of self-defense work better than others in court and in the media.

    The Challenges of Starting a (Remote) Career

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 29, 2021 33:02


    Anne Helen Petersen, who writes the newsletter Culture Study, and co-author of the forthcoming book, Out of Office: The Big Problem and Bigger Promise of Working From Home, discusses her research on what starting a career during the pandemic has been like for young remote workers.


    What We Know About The Omicron Variant

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 29, 2021 25:31

    With little information on the new and widely discussed Omicron variant, Apoorva Mandavilli, reporter for The New York Times, focusing on science and global health, explains the latest news and what's known so far. 

    Monday Morning Politics: Rep. Lauren Boebert plus High-Profile Trial Verdicts

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 29, 2021 40:20


    In the aftermath of two high-profile murder trial verdicts - Kyle Rittenhouse and the three men convicted of killing Ahmaud Arbery - Jamil Smith, senior correspondent for Vox and Emily Bazelon, staff writer for The New York Times Magazine, co-host of Slate's "Political Gabfest" podcast, Truman Capote fellow for creative writing and law at Yale Law School and author of Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration (Random House, 2019), discuss lasting implications and weigh in on Rep. Lauren Boebert's Islamophobic remarks toward Rep. Ilhan Omar. 


    Your 'Very 2021' Thanksgiving Tales

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 29, 2021 10:35

    A Post-Thanksgiving call-in for listeners to share stories from last Thursday that were very 2021. 

    'Loneliest Americans'; Talking About Race; Interracial Friendships; Best Poetry with Tracy K Smith

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 26, 2021 109:01


    This Day-After-Thanksgiving, some conversations about coming together, across differences: Jay Caspian Kang, opinion writer for The New York Times and The New York Times Magazine and the author of The Loneliest Americans (Crown, 2021), talks about how he thinks Asian-Americans -- a large and not monolithic group -- fit into American society.  Celeste Headlee, author of Speaking of Race: Why Everybody Needs to Talk About Racism―and How to Do It (Harper Wave, 2021) draws on science and her own experience to offer guidance for having good conversations around issues of racial identity. Childhood friends Khalil Gibran Muhammad, professor of History, Race and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and director emeritus of the Schomburg Center, and Ben Austen, journalist and author of High-Risers: Cabrini-Green and the Fate of American Public Housing (Harper, 2018), talk about their new podcast, "Some of My Best Friends Are...," which examines race and racism through the lens of their interracial friendship. Tracy K. Smith, Pulitzer Prize winning poet, former Poet Laureate of the United States from 2017 to 2019, author of Such Color: New and Selected Poems (Graywolf, 2021) and editor of The Best American Poetry 2021 (Scribner, 2021), shares some of the best recent poetry, her own and that of other poets, to end the show.   These interviews were edited slightly for time, the original versions are available here: What Does the Label 'Asian-American' Really Mean? (Oct 7, 2021) Let's Talk About Racism (Nov 4, 2021) Race and Racism Through the Lens of an Interracial Friendship (Sep 14, 2021) Tracy K. Smith Reads 'The Best American Poetry 2021' (Oct 13, 2021) Tracy K. Smith Picks the Best Recent Poetry (Oct 14, 2021) Tracy K. Smith Shares Poems From Her New Collection (Oct 15, 2021)


    Iconic at 50: A Thanksgiving Special

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 25, 2021 103:25


    Happy Thanksgiving! Today on the show, we're re-airing highlights from our summer series "Iconic at 50" and looking at, or rather listening to, some iconic albums that turned 50 this year and digging into the political and social context in which they were made and their impact on both music and culture, including: Sean Ono Lennon, musician and son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, discusses how John Lennon's 1971 song "Imagine" was shaped by its time and has influenced music for generations to come. Andy Beta, music writer whose byline has appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR and more, discusses how Alice Coltrane's 1971 album "Journey in Satchidananda" was shaped by its time and has influenced music for generations to come. Loren Glass, chair and professor of English at the University of Iowa and author of several books including, most recently, Carole King's Tapestry for Bloomsbury's 33 1/3 series, discusses how Carole King's 1971 album "Tapestry" was shaped by its time and has influenced music for generations to come. Henry Rollins, host at KCRW and former lead vocalist of the hardcore group Black Flag, discusses how Black Sabbath's 1971 album "Master of Reality" was shaped by its time and has influenced music for generations to come. Jon Burlingame, music journalist who writes regularly for Variety, music-and-TV theme expert and host of "For Scores" podcast, discusses how Isaac Hayes's 1971 album "Shaft" was shaped by its time and has influenced music, and culture, for generations to come. Aaron Cohen, author of Move On Up: Chicago Soul Music and Black Cultural Power (University of Chicago Press, 2019) and professor at City Colleges of Chicago, discusses how George Harrison's concert and album "The Concert For Bangladesh" was shaped by its time and has influenced music for generations to come.   These interviews were edited slightly for time, the original versions are available here: Iconic at 50: John Lennon's 'Imagine' (Oct 21, 2021) Iconic at 50: Alice Coltrane's 'Journey in Satchidananda' (Jul 23, 2021) Iconic at 50: Carole King's 'Tapestry' (Aug 6, 2021) Iconic at 50: Black Sabbath's 'Master of Reality' (Jul 16, 2021) Iconic at 50: Isaac Hayes's 'Shaft' (Jul 29, 2021) Iconic at 50: George Harrison's 'The Concert For Bangladesh' (Sep 3, 2021)


    After 400 Years, the "Real" History of Thanksgiving

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 24, 2021 32:45

    Kenneth C. Davis, author of Don't Know Much About History: Everything You Need to Know About American History but Never Learned talks about the myths and realities of the 1621 first Thanksgiving.

    The Economics—and Biden Politics—of Oil

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 24, 2021 39:09

    Timothy Gardner, climate and energy correspondent at Reuters breaks down why the price of oil is so high and what, if anything, the Biden administration can do to fix it while also meeting climate goals.

    What Retail Workers Want You To Know Ahead of Black Friday

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 24, 2021 12:26

    Listeners who work in retail share their thoughts ahead of a busy, complicated Black Friday on which some have planned to strike.

    Court Backlogs and the Crisis at Rikers

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 24, 2021 22:45

    As massive backlog overwhelms the city's criminal courts, nearly 1,700 people detained at Rikers Island have waited over a year for their cases to go to trial. George Joseph, investigative reporter with WNYC's Public Safety Unit, shares his reporting on Rikers as the pandemic exacerbated underlying issues in the system's bureaucracy. Read his latest piece here. 

    Who Is Really Behind the Decline of Local News?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 24, 2021 31:13

    McKay Coppins, staff writer at The Atlantic and the author of The Wilderness: Deep Inside the Republican Party's Combative, Contentious, Chaotic Quest to Take Back the White House (Little Brown, 2015) joins to discuss the venture capital fund that's buying up local newspapers and driving them into bankruptcy and how the loss of local media is contributing to the polarizing political climate.

    The Future of NYC Tour Bus Guides

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2021 13:36

    Patrick Casey, head of the Government Relations Committee for The Guides' Association of New York City (GANYC) and professional tour guide for many years, discusses the future of the tour bus guide profession, as many tour bus companies in New York City eliminate the position.

    Stuck Between Belarus and Poland

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2021 24:06

    As migrants from Middle Eastern countries remain in limbo between Belarus and the European Union through Poland, Monika Pronczuk, New York Times reporter in Brussels covering the E.U., has updates on the ongoing humanitarian crisis where thousands spent days forced against the fortified border in dangerous conditions. Plus, Charlotte McDonald-Gibson, journalist and author of Cast Away: True Stories of Survival from Europe s Refugee Crisis, explains how immigration policy in the E.U. led to this conflict and gives leverage to authoritarian regimes. 

    My Bubble, Your Bubble

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2021 23:05

    Before we head for dinners with folks with different media diets, Kai Wright, host of the WNYC's The United States of Anxiety, and Kousha Navidar, senior digital producer for WNYC's The United States of Anxiety, offer an experiment to get past the filter bubbles that define what information gets to us. If two people search broad terms like "patriot" or "vaccine" in YouTube, they might get very different results. Now, @kai_wright + @KoushaNavidar on the concept of "filter bubbles," and how our different digital worlds inform our real life beliefs. https://t.co/20NQjvN7re — The Brian Lehrer Show and A Daily Politics Podcast (@BrianLehrer) November 23, 2021

    A Proposal to Grant Tax Breaks to Local News Subscribers

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2021 17:39

    Roy Freiman, Democratic Member of the New Jersey General Assembly, discusses his legislative proposal to offer tax breaks for subscriptions to local New Jersey newspapers.

    Professor Carol Anderson on the Rittenhouse Verdict

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 22, 2021 27:03


    On Friday, Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted on all counts in his trial for first-degree intentional homicide. Carol Anderson, professor of African American Studies at Emory University and the author of The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2021), discusses the verdict and what comes next.


    Doing Thanksgiving Your Own Way

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 22, 2021 13:24

    Listeners share their nonconventional Thanksgiving recipes and traditions.

    New York's Gubernatorial Race Heats Up

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 22, 2021 34:15

    Juan Manuel Benitez, reporter at NY1 and host of Pura Política, discusses how the Democratic primary for New York governor is shaping up as more candidates join the race and differentiate themselves on policy, plus the latest official report on allegations against former Governor Andrew Cuomo.

    Monday Morning Politics: Marianna Sotomayor

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 22, 2021 34:31


    Marianna Sotomayor, Washington Post Congressional reporter covering the House of Representatives, talks about the Build Back Better bill and other news from the Capitol.


    Brian Lehrer Weeked: Hunger Strikes; Nikole Hannah-Jones; They Might Be Giants

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2021 84:22

    Three of our favorite segments from the week, in case you missed them. How Do Hunger Strikes Work? (First) | Nikole Hannah-Jones on American History (starts around 35:35) | They Might Be Giants Have a Book (starts around 1:06:16)   If you don't subscribe to the Brian Lehrer Show on iTunes, you can do that here. 

    A (Very Early) 'Shop Listener' Gift Guide

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2021 14:20

    It's back and earlier than ever! Listeners call in to shout out their businesses ahead of the holidays, for a Brian Lehrer Show listener-sourced gift guide. Have something to sell that would make the perfect holiday gift? You can start now by filling out our form wnyc.org/shoplistenersignup.

    Holidays, Covid Vaccines, Boosters & Testing

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2021 36:13

    Daniel Griffin, MD, PhD, infectious disease clinician and researcher at Columbia, ProHEALTH chief of the division of Infectious Disease, senior fellow for Infectious Disease at UHG Research and Development, and president of Parasites Without Borders, shares the latest guidance on balancing risks and rewards of holiday gatherings at this phase of the pandemic. Dr. Griffin does regular clinical updates on the podcast, This Week in Virology.

    Ask the Mayor: The Long View on Education

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2021 32:13

    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio  and Meisha Porter, chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, look back at the whole picture on the administration's education policies and initiatives and take calls from listeners. .@NYCMayor tells @BrianLehrer the city is now at 82,000 vaccinations for five- to 11-year-olds, representing 12 percent of that age category. Says in-school vaccination played a role in that. "We're off to a vert strong start with vaccinating our youngest New Yorkers," he said. — Madina Touré (@madinatoure) November 19, 2021 .@BrianLehrer asks @BilldeBlasio why he didn't implement year-round school here during the past 8 years.He said city could not afford it and that's why the state needs to do it. Pushes millionaire's tax to pay for itSummer Rising, paid for with fed funds, is model — Brigid Bergin (@brigidbergin) November 19, 2021

    State Sen. Myrie on Election Reform and Voting Rights in NY

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2021 22:13

    Zellnor Myrie, New York State Senator (D-20th, including parts Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, South Slope, and Sunset Park in Brooklyn), and Elections Committee chair, talks about his proposal for election reform across the state.

    Your Vaccine Related Thanksgiving Dramas, Headaches, and Worries

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2021 13:15

    From young children who won't be eligible in time, to adult relatives who still refuse to get the jab, for some families vaccination status will determine who gets to gather together for the holidays. Listeners call in with their stories and worries a week out from Thanksgiving.

    High Inflation: Pandemic Glitch or Lasting Concern?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2021 36:03

    The annual inflation rate in the United States is running at a three decade high. Wendy Edelberg, director of The Hamilton Project and senior fellow, economic studies at The Brookings Institution, discusses the underpinning factors mostly related to the pandemic and weighs in on concern over long-term impact. 

    The Rittenhouse and McMichael Trials Continue

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2021 23:26

    Elie Mystal, justice correspondent for The Nation, discusses the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, WI, and the trials of three men in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia.

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