The New Yorker Radio Hour The New Yorker Radio Hour is a weekly program presented by the magazine's editor, David Remnick, and produced by WNYC Studios and The New Yorker. Each episode features a diverse mix of interviews, profiles, storytelling, and an occasional burst of humor inspired by the magazine, and shaped by its writers, artists, and editors. This isn't a radio version of a magazine, but something all its own, reflecting the rich possibilities of audio storytelling and conversation. Theme music for the show was composed and performed by Merrill Garbus of tUnE-YArDs.
The New Yorker Radio Hour

The New Yorker Radio Hour

From WNYC Radio

The New Yorker Radio Hour is a weekly program presented by the magazine's editor, David Remnick, and produced by WNYC Studios and The New Yorker. Each episode features a diverse mix of interviews, profiles, storytelling, and an occasional burst of humor inspired by the magazine, and shaped by its writers, artists, and editors. This isn't a radio version of a magazine, but something all its own, reflecting the rich possibilities of audio storytelling and conversation. Theme music for the show was composed and performed by Merrill Garbus of tUnE-YArDs.More from The New Yorker Radio Hour »

Most Recent Episodes

Andrew Sean Greer's "It's a Summer Day"

Last week, Andrew Andrew Sean Greer's novel "Less" won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. "Less" about a novelist in mid-life named Arthur Less, and his attempt to avoid the wedding of a younger ex-boyfriend by accepting invitations to literary events in other countries. In 2017, The New Yorker published an excerpt from the book with the title "It's a Summer Day." Greer read from the excerpt on the New Yorker's podcast The Writer's Voice, which features a short story from the magazine read by the author every week.

James Comey Makes His Case to America

In a long career in long enforcement, the former F.B.I. Director James Comey aimed to be above politics, but in the 2016 election he stepped directly into it. In his book, "A Higher Loyalty," Comey makes the case to America that he handled the F.B.I. investigations into Hillary Clinton's e-mails and Donald Trump's campaign correctly, regardless of the consequences. Clinton still claims she was "shivved," and blames Comey for derailing her campaign. Trump calls Comey a "slimeball" and a "nutjob" and blames him for the Russia investigations that may yet derail his presidency. David Remnick spoke with Comey at a public event at New York's Town Hall on April 19, 2018, and asked him how he can still stand by his choices.

A Trans Woman Finds Her True Face Through Surgery

The staff writer Rebecca Mead recently observed the seven-hour surgery of woman she calls Abby. (To protect her privacy, Abby's real name was not used, and her voice has been altered in the audio of our story.) Abby, who is trans, had undergone hormone therapy, but her strong facial features still led people to refer to her as male, which caused her severe emotional pain. She decided to undergo a reconstructive procedure called facial feminization surgery, in which a specialist would break and reshape her bones. Mead spoke with Abby before and after the surgery about what it would mean for the world to see her as she sees herself. Plus: The poet Ada Limón moved to Kentucky and fell in love with horses all over again.

Pope Francis the Disruptor

As a conservative columnist at the New York Times, Ross Douthat fills the post once held by no less a figure than William Kristol. A devout Catholic, Douthat opposes the progressive direction in which Pope Francis is leading the Church—to prioritize caring for poor people and migrants over opposing abortion and the culture of sexual revolution—even though he acknowledges to David Remnick that this puts him at odds with the Church's emphasis on mercy. In his new book, "To Change the Church: Pope Francis of the Future of Catholicism," Douthat provocatively compares Francis to Donald Trump, painting him as a disruptive figure who is determined to bring change fast and damn the consequences. Plus: a lawyer and former baseball player explains why a new federal law targets the wages of minor league players.

Frank Oz on Miss Piggy's Secret Backstory and Jim Henson's Legacy

Frank Oz was a teenager when he started working with Jim Henson, the puppeteer and filmmaker behind the Muppets. Oz went on to create characters like Bert, Cookie Monster, Miss Piggy, and Yoda from "Star Wars." Michael Schulman is a contributor to The New Yorker and the magazine's foremost authority on all things Muppet. He takes a trip uptown, to Frank Oz's home in Manhattan, and talks with Oz about his most iconic characters, moving on after the death of Jim Henson, and what's missing from today's Muppets. Plus, The New Yorker's Naomi Fry recommends three things not to miss on the Internet.

Emma González at Home, and a Crown Prince Abroad

Emma González is a survivor of the Parkland attack, and a leader of the #NeverAgain movement. She talks with David Remnick about the ways her life has changed since the shooting, and why activism comes naturally to the teens spearheading the new push for gun control. And Dexter Filkins talks with David Remnick about the dynamic Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia—a young, energetic reformer who is forging close ties with the Trump White House.

How Not to Write a Caption

Every week, a New Yorker cartoon is posted online and printed in the magazine without a caption, and thousands of people write in with their suggestions. Readers vote on a winner, and the top pick is printed in the following issue. Willy Staley and Matt Jordan submit a caption pretty much every week, working as a team. They've been doing it for years, but they never win—and they probably never will. Their goal isn't to write a winning caption; it's to write the most wrong-headed, vulgar, and hilariously inappropriate caption possible. "There's something to the typical New Yorker cartoon," says Jordan. "It's succinct, it tends to be clean, it tends to be on cue. We just try to curveball around that." Using their failings in the official contest, they've built an online following for their Tumblr blog "Shitty New Yorker Cartoon Captions." They sat down with The New Yorker's cartoon editor, Emma Allen, to discuss what separates a typical losing caption from a truly shitty one.

John Thompson vs. American Justice

When police showed up to question John Thompson, he was worried that it was because he had sold drugs to an undercover cop. When he realized they were investigating a murder, he could only laugh: "Shit, for real? Murder?"Thompson was insistent on his innocence, but New Orleans prosecutors wanted a conviction for a high-profile murder, and they were not scrupulous about how they got it. Thompson quickly found himself on death row. Eighteen years later, just weeks before Thompson was due to be executed, his lawyers discovered that a prosecutor had hidden exculpatory evidence from the defense. Thompson had been set up. This was a violation of the Brady Rule, established by the Supreme Court, in 1963, to ensure fair trials. Ultimately, he was exonerated of both crimes, but his attempts to get a settlement from the district attorney's office—compensation for his time in prison—were thwarted. Though an appeals court had upheld a fourteen-million-dollar settlement, the Supreme Court reversed the decision, declining to punish the D.A. for failing to enforce the Court's previous decision. Thompson's case revealed fundamental imbalances that undermine the very notion of a fair trial. Under the Brady Rule, prosecutors must share with the defense any evidence that could be favorable to the defendant. But there is essentially no practical enforcement of this rule. In most states, prosecutors are the ones who hold the evidence and choose what to share, and disclosing exculpatory evidence makes their cases harder to win. We have absolutely no idea how many criminal trials are flawed by these violations.The staff writer Andrew Marantz, his wife, Sarah Lustbader, of the Fair Punishment Project, and the producer Katherine Wells reported on John Thompson's story and its implications. They spoke with the late John Thompson (who died in 2017), with his lawyers, and with Harry Connick, Sr., the retired New Orleans D.A. who, despite having tried very hard to have Thompson killed, remains unrepentant. This episode contains explicit language and may not be suitable for children.

The American Bombs Falling on Yemen

Abdulqader Hilal Al-Dabab was the mayor of Sana'a, a politician with a long record of mediating disputes in a notoriously fractious and dangerous country. Earlier in his career, he accepted a position at which his two predecessors had been assassinated; Hilal, as he was known, served in that post for seven years. By 2015, Yemen was at war and Sana'a had become the center of a brutally destructive bombing campaign by a coalition led by Saudi Arabia—with planes, arms, and logistical support from the United States. Hilal was trying to hold the city together, keeping the ambulances running and convincing parents to send their children to school. At the same time, he was trying to broker a ceasefire, using the skills he had cultivated in local government at a broader level. When the Saudis bombed a funeral gathering that Hilal was attending, he was killed and the country lost a bright hope for peace. Nicolas Niarchos talks with Hilal's son about his father's fate and what it says about the country's future. Plus, Jia Tolentino visits the prize-winners at the Westminster dog show and tries to come to terms with the badly behaved mutt who's wrecking her home.

Scott Pruitt, the "Originalist" at the E.P.A.

As the Attorney General of Oklahoma, Scott Pruitt sued the Environmental Protection Agency fourteen times, claiming that the Obama Administration had overreached with policies intended to curtail climate change—a phenomenon which Pruitt views skeptically. Then Donald Trump appointed him to run it. The New Yorker's Margaret Talbot, who wrote about Pruitt's first year at the E.P.A., notes that Pruitt has cast his hostility to environmental protection as a form of populist resistance, even as it has gained him close allies in the fossil-fuel industry. Pruitt calls his approach at the E.P.A. "originalism": he's directed the agency to focus on dirty pollution, as it did back in the nineteen-seventies. Yet, as Talbot tells David Remnick, Pruitt is still quick to overrule regulation if it inconveniences polluting industries. Plus, The New Yorker's critic of pop music, Carrie Battan, plays three tracks that have grabbed her attention lately.

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