The Brian Lehrer Show

The Brian Lehrer Show

From WNYC Radio

Brian Lehrer and his guests take on the issues dominating conversation in New York and around the world. This daily program from WNYC, New York Public Radio cuts through the usual talk radio punditry and brings a smart, humane approach to the day's events.More from The Brian Lehrer Show »

Most Recent Episodes

The Plan to Build a Wall in Hoboken

A controversial plan to build a wall has been met with outrage. No, not that wall. The city of Hoboken has been looking for a solution to prevent floods, like when the Hudson River poured into the city during Hurricane Sandy. And city officials thought they'd found a plan when they secured a $230 million grant to build a sea wall. But some residents aren't happy. Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer talks about Hoboken's plans to protect the city from future flooding and addresses community opposition to the plans - some say a wall would ruin the views and the character of the city.

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A Veteran's Motorcycle Odyssey

To mark his return to civilian life, retired U.S. Army Civil Affairs colonel Christopher Holshek took to his motorcycle for a trip across the country and back. He described his journey in Travels with Harley: Journeys in Search of Personal and National Identity (Inkshares, 2016). He also talked about the National Service Ride he's planning for May-June 2016, to encourage a national conversation about where our country is heading.

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New Hampshire Primary: A Litmus Test for Front-Runners and Fringe Candidates

Annie Karni, a POLITICO reporter covering Hillary Clinton, and WNYC and NJPR reporter Matt Katz, the creator of The Christie Tracker and author of American Governor: Chris Christie's Bridge to Redemption (Threshold Editions, 2016), preview what to expect from tonight's primary in New Hampshire. For Hillary Clinton, after narrowly winning the Iowa caucus and with most polls positioning her behind Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire, the former Secretary of State went on the offensive in recent days with the help of her husband former President Bill Clinton. POLITICO reporter Annie Karni said the attacks on Sanders, showcases how the Clinton campaign views the Vermont senator as serious threat, after months of engaging in civil discourse with Sanders. Karni reported for POLITICO that if Bernie Sanders defeats Hillary Clinton by a wide margin in New Hampshire, changes could be made to Clinton's campaign staff. On the Republican side, WNYC and NJPR reporter Matt Katz revealed that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had a strong showing in a town hall event he held in New Hampshire on Monday, and his performance gained him the support of some former undecided voters who were in attendance. Katz, however, said if Christie wasn't able to at least beat out Ohio Governor John Kasich and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, it could mean the end of the Christie campaign.

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Priorities Collide at a High-Performing NJ School District

In response to some parents' and students' concerns of excessive stress in his high-performing school district, Dr. David Aderhold, superintendent of schools for the West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District in New Jersey, announced plans to ease pressure on students. But while some parents cheered, others - especially those from the district's Asian-American community - decried the changes, saying they don't want the curriculum dumbed down. Dr. Aderhold discusses the tensions between high academic achievement and stress, the ethnic divide and how things have been going since his announcement. Then, Jennifer Lee, professor of sociology at the University of California, Irvine, and author of The Asian American Achievement Paradox (Russell Sage Foundation, 2015), who has studied many Asian-American communities like this one near Princeton, provides context for the different ways white and Asian-American parents expect their children to deal with serious academic pressure. @brianlehrer As a 33-year vet teacher, I know homework-free nights are a joke. Still the same amount of work to do, just less time to do it — Brian Hanson-Harding (@brianhh13) February 9, 2016 @BrianLehrer listening with interest in NJ.8th grade kid had 6 hrs of homework last night, due today. Pressure from district silly too ! — Deborah Ellis (@Britgirl8409) February 9, 2016

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Sanders v. Clinton: Who Would Do a Better Job On Income Inequality?

In our ongoing series of debates between Bernie Sanders supporters and Hillary Clinton supporters, two top New Jersey Democrats debate which would be a better president when it comes to addressing income inequality. The debaters: Pro-Sanders: New Jersey State Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19) Pro-Clinton: New Jersey State Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-37) Who would be a better president to address income inequality? — Brian Lehrer Show (@BrianLehrer) February 9, 2016

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The Year of the Monkey

Ambassador Zhang Qiyue, the consul general of China in New York, celebrates the Chinese New Year by talking about the importance of Chinese culture to New York City and U.S.-China relations. When pressed about the (American) idea that China "plays dirty" in business, Ambassador Qiyue responded: "Part of my job is to change that perception." She noted that many American countries are successfully doing business in China, and "the successful stories are much much more than the grievances." As for employing the phrase "Communist China," she said: "The main party is the Chinese Communist Party, but at the same time we also have other parties that work together with the Communist party, so we are actually building a socialist country with Chinese characteristics." Happy Chinese New Year! We welcome the Chinese Consul General to New York: Zhang Qiyue. pic.twitter.com/77xdEAA5vJ — Brian Lehrer Show (@BrianLehrer) February 8, 2016

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The Hunt for War Criminals

Julian Borger, the diplomatic editor for The Guardian and the author of The Butcher's Trail: How the Search for Balkan War Criminals Became the World's Most Successful Manhunt (Other Press, 2016), tells the story of how leaders of the Balkans conflict, including those now on trial in The Hague, were tracked down. → EVENTS: Tuesday, February 9th at 12:00 PM at Columbia University's Harriman Institute (Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 International Affairs Building, 420 West 118th St.). Wednesday, February 10th 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM in conversation with David Rohde at the United Nations Bookshop, 1st Avenue & 46th Street (RSVP by 2/9). Iran Deal has effectively reduced threat. "You couldn't have done that with weeks of bombing." -@julianborger pic.twitter.com/8zDuFqyCrm — Brian Lehrer Show (@BrianLehrer) February 8, 2016

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'There's a Special Place in Hell For Women Who Don't Help Each Other'

Two feminist icons from an earlier generation - Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright - chastised younger women for supporting Bernie Sanders this weekend, saying they should be voting for Hillary Clinton. Younger women who are Sanders supporters, what's your reaction to their rebukes? Comment below, or join the conversation anytime on Twitter @BrianLehrer. @BrianLehrer wow well gloria steinem really embarrassed herself and actually showed how limited first wave feminism is. — R A C H E L L (@vonSpawn) February 8, 2016 @BrianLehrer so disappointed in their comments! I'm a Hillary supporter but there is no need to shame women or be grumpy about it. — Nikka Landau (@nikkalandau) February 8, 2016 @BrianLehrer just because Hilary is a woman it does not mean she will work for women's rights. Look at Obama with civil rights... — Jeanine T. Abraham (@J9dances) February 8, 2016 @BrianLehrer I support @BernieSanders. I also love @GloriaSteinem. But the special place in hell is for anyone who follows blindly. — brittain ashford (@brittainashford) February 8, 2016 Some states allow 17-year-olds to vote in primaries if they'll be 18 by the general election. Check here: https://t.co/VwXULr23LS — Brian Lehrer Show (@BrianLehrer) February 8, 2016

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The Lingering Dangers of Housing Project Stairwells

After two NYPD officers were shot in a public housing stairwell in the Bronx last week, we take a closer look at the problems facing both residents and cops doing vertical patrols. This shooting comes just as a jury prepares to hear closing arguments in the trial of officer Peter Liang, a New York City cop who fatally shot an unarmed man named Akai Gurley in a public housing stairwell in Brooklyn in 2014. Richard Aborn, president of the Citizens Crime Commission and the former assistant Manhattan DA, discusses the state of NYCHA housing stairwells.

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Rubio on Repeat, Heading in to the New Hampshire Primary

The big news out of Saturday's Republican debate had to be Marco Rubio's perplexingly repetitive use of the same phrase, almost verbatim, about Obama. And, perhaps just as widely covered, Chris Christie's barking response calling him out on having a "memorized 25-second speech." So is it really a big deal? Will this dampen the Rubio surge in New Hampshire ahead of Tuesday's primary? "It gets at something deeper about Marco Rubio," says McKay Coppins, senior political writer for BuzzFeed News and the author of The Wilderness: Deep Inside the Republican Party's Combative, Contentious, Chaotic Quest to Take Back the White House (Little, Brown and Company, 2015). Coppins said he's spoken to a lot of Rubio's supporters and described: "There's a kind of deep-seated anxiety that a lot of them talk about when they talk about Rubio - and these are his friends, these are people who like him!" Coppins went on to suggest that Christie won't be seeing a bump in support because of his debate performance, noting the "spoils rarely go to the chief aggressor, partly because voters just don't like it."

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