The New Yorker Radio Hour David Remnick is joined by The New Yorker's award-winning writers, editors and artists to present a weekly mix of profiles, storytelling, and insightful conversations about the issues that matter — plus an occasional blast of comic genius from the magazine's legendary Shouts and Murmurs page. The New Yorker has set a standard in journalism for generations and The New Yorker Radio Hour gives it a voice on public radio for the first time. Produced by The New Yorker and WNYC Studios. WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other leading podcasts including Radiolab, On the Media, Snap Judgment, Death, Sex & Money, Here's the Thing with Alec Baldwin, Nancy and many more. © WNYC Studios
The New Yorker Radio Hour

The New Yorker Radio Hour

From WNYC Radio

David Remnick is joined by The New Yorker's award-winning writers, editors and artists to present a weekly mix of profiles, storytelling, and insightful conversations about the issues that matter — plus an occasional blast of comic genius from the magazine's legendary Shouts and Murmurs page. The New Yorker has set a standard in journalism for generations and The New Yorker Radio Hour gives it a voice on public radio for the first time. Produced by The New Yorker and WNYC Studios. WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other leading podcasts including Radiolab, On the Media, Snap Judgment, Death, Sex & Money, Here's the Thing with Alec Baldwin, Nancy and many more. © WNYC Studios

Most Recent Episodes

After Serving Decades in Prison for Murder, Two Men Fought to Clear Their Names

For years, the staff writer Jennifer Gonnerman has reported on the case of Eric Smokes and David Warren. When they were teen-agers in Brooklyn, in 1987, Smokes and Warren were convicted of second-degree murder during the mugging of a tourist; the papers called them "the Times Square Two." It was the testimony of another teen-ager, who received a reduced sentence in a separate case for his coöperation, that sent them to prison. Ever since, Warren and Smokes have protested their innocence, and Walker later acknowledged that he had lied. But in requesting parole, after years in prison, the two men had to take responsibility for their crime, and four years ago, a judge denied their appeal. Gonnerman tells the story of their long fight for justice, and how it finally came to pass.

After Serving Decades in Prison for Murder, Two Men Fought to Clear Their Names

Senator Raphael Warnock on America's "Moral and Spiritual Battle"

When Raphael Warnock was elected to the Senate from Georgia in the 2020 election, he made history a couple of times over. He became the first Black Democrat elected to the Senate from the Deep South. At the same time, that victory—alongside Jon Ossoff's—flipped both of Georgia's Senate seats from Republican to Democrat. Once thought of as solidly red, Georgia has become a closely watched swing state that President Biden can't afford to lose in November, and Warnock is a key ally. He dismisses polls that show younger Black voters are leaning toward Trump in higher numbers than older voters; Biden's record as President, he thinks—including a reported sixty per cent increase in Black wealth since the pandemic—will motivate strong turnout. Warnock returns to Atlanta every Sunday to preach at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he remains senior pastor, and he thinks of the election as a "moral and spiritual battle." "Are we a nation that can send from the South a Black man and a Jewish man to the Senate?" he asks. "Or are we that nation that rises up in violence as we witness the demographic changes in our country and the struggle for a more inclusive Republic?"

The Trans Athletes Who Changed the Olympics—in 1936

In "The Other Olympians: Fascism, Queerness, and the Making of Modern Sports," the journalist Michael Waters tells the story of Zdeněk Koubek, one of the most famous sprinters in European women's sports. Koubek shocked the sporting world in 1935 by announcing that he was transitioning, and now living as a man. The initial press coverage of Koubek and another prominent track star who transitioned, Mark Weston, was largely positive, but Waters tells the New Yorker sports columnist Louisa Thomas that eventually a backlash led to the 1936 Berlin Olympics instituting a sex-testing policy for women athletes. Any female athlete's sex could be challenged, and cisgender women who didn't conform to historical gender standards were targeted as a result. These policies slowly evolved to include chromosome testing and, later, the hormone testing that we see today. "And so as we talk about sex testing today," Waters says, "we often are forgetting where these policies come from in the first place."

Cécile McLorin Salvant Finds "the Gems That Haven't Been Sung and Sung"

When the jazz singer Cécile McLorin Salvant was profiled in The New Yorker, Wynton Marsalis described her as the kind of talent who comes along only "once in a generation or two." Salvant's work is rooted in jazz—in the tradition of Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan and Abbey Lincoln—and she has won three Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Vocal Album. But her interests and her repertoire reach across eras and continents. She studied Baroque music and jazz at conservatory, and performs songs in French, Occitan, and Haitian Kreyòl. "I think I have the spirit of a kind of a radio D.J. slash curator," she tells David Remnick. "It's almost like making a mixtape for someone and only putting deep cuts." And even when singing the standards, she aims "to find the gems that haven't been sung and sung and sung over and over again." During a summer tour, she visited the studio at WNYC to perform "Don't Rain on My Parade," made famous by Barbra Streisand; "Can She Excuse My Wrongs," by John Dowland, the English composer of the Elizabethan era; and "Moon Song," an original from Salvant's album "Ghost Song."

Cécile McLorin Salvant Finds "the Gems That Haven't Been Sung and Sung"

Ilana Glazer on Motherhood and Friendship, On- and Off-Screen

In their breakout comedy series, "Broad City," Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson played raucous and raunchy best friends who were the glue in each other's lives. In "Babes," the new movie co-written by Glazer and directed by Pamela Adlon (fresh off her own series, "Better Things"), friendship is, again, a life force. Glazer plays Eden, a yoga teacher who gets pregnant unexpectedly and becomes a single mom. This time Glazer plays opposite Michelle Buteau, whom Glazer calls a "muse" for the film. Even though it didn't take long to get the script green-lit, Glazer says some of the more graphic realities of pregnancy and having children were taken as somewhat "blue." That assessment, she tells The New Yorker's Naomi Fry, makes her wonder, "Perhaps we've been so disembodied from our own life force, from our own origin stories, that we find it disgusting. But it's not disgusting. It's hilarious, it's beautiful, it's also ugly, it's sweet and soft, it's hard and intense, but the way women talk still really rubs people the wrong way." Glazer also talks with Fry about what Jacobson taught her about being an artist, going to therapy three times a week, and being wild about her daughter.

Love Is Blind, and Allegedly Toxic

On the reality-TV dating show "Love Is Blind," the most watched original series in Netflix history, contestants are alone in windowless, octagonal pods with no access to their phones or the Internet. They talk to each other through the walls. There's intrigue, romance, heartbreak, and, in some cases, sight-unseen engagements. According to several lawsuits, there's also lack of sleep, lack of food and water, twenty-hour work days, and alleged physical and emotional abuse. New Yorker staff writer Emily Nussbaum has been reporting on what these lawsuits reveal about the culture on the set of "Love Is Blind," and a push for a new union to give reality-TV stars employee protections and rights. "The people who are on reality shows are a vulnerable class of people who are mistreated by the industry in ways that are made invisible to people, including to fans who love the shows," Nussbaum tells David Remnick. Nussbaum's forthcoming book is "Cue the Sun! The Invention of Reality TV."

Miranda July's New Novel Takes on Marriage, Desire, and Perimenopause

Some time in her forties, something shifted in Miranda July. She started having "this new, grim feeling about the future, which was weird, because I'm, like, a very excited, hopeful person," she tells New Yorker staff writer Alexandra Schwartz, who recently profiled July for the magazine. July attributes some of that "feeling" to the disparity between all the information there was about her reproductive years, and how little there was about middle age and perimenopause. "If it's stories that we need, you know, dibs. Dibs on menopause," she tells Schwartz. July's explorations and conversations with other women made their way into her new novel, "All Fours," about a woman who upends her life and her marriage, and her sense of who she is and who she'll be in the second half of her life. Miranda July is fifty now, and she is taking some pages from her own book.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Isn't Going Away

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who has never held elected office but is related to many people who have, is emerging as a potential threat to Democrats and Republicans in the 2024 Presidential race. "There's nothing in the United States Constitution that says that you have to go to Congress first and, then, Senate second, or be a governor before you're elected to the Presidency," he told David Remnick, in July, when he was running as a Democrat. Now, as a third-party Presidential candidate, his numbers have grown in the polls—enough to push votes away from both Biden and Trump in November, especially, it seems, among younger voters. Besides his name, the seventy-year-old environmental lawyer is known as an anti-vaccine activist and a proponent of conspiracy theories. This election season, we're eager to hear from you. What questions do you have? Let us know at: newyorkerradio@wnyc.org This interview originally aired on July 7, 2023.

How a Tech Executive Lobbied Lawmakers for the TikTok Ban

David Remnick talks with a proponent of the TikTok ban that just passed in Washington. Jacob Helberg, an executive with the data giant Palantir who serves in a government agency called the United States–China Economic and Security Review Commission, was all over Capitol Hill in the run-up to the vote on TikTok, convincing legislators that it was an urgent matter of national security. The bill will remove TikTok from distribution in U.S. app stores unless its owner, ByteDance, sells it to some other entity—or unless TikTok prevails in its lawsuit against the U.S. government. With a China-based company, Helberg asserts, attempts to safeguard Americans' data from the Communist Party are futile: "The Chinese government has a master backdoor into everything," he says. "TikTok is a vehicle for Chinese propaganda, and it's also a vehicle for Chinese surveillance, which is a major national-security threat to this country." For another perspective on the TIkTok ban, listen to David Remnick's conversation with the journalist Katie Drummond, the global editorial director of Wired magazine.

Wired's Katie Drummond: The TikTok Ban Is "Rooted in Hypocrisy"; Plus, Hannah Goldfield on...

David Remnick talks with Katie Drummond, the global editorial director of Wired magazine, about the TikTok ban that just passed with bipartisan support in Washington. The app will be removed from distribution in U.S. app stores unless ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, sells it to an approved buyer. TikTok is suing to block that law. Is this a battle among tech giants for dominance, or a real issue of national security? Drummond sees the ban as a corporate crusade by Silicon Valley to suppress a foreign competitor with a superior product. The claim that TikTok is a national-security threat she finds "a vast overreach that is rooted in hypotheticals and that is rooted in hypocrisy, and in ... a fundamental refusal to look across the broad spectrum of social media platforms, and treat all of them from a regulatory point of view with the same level of care and precision." Plus, the food writer Hannah Goldfield on salmon cooked in the dishwasher, and other highlights of culinary TikTok videos.

Wired's Katie Drummond: The TikTok Ban Is "Rooted in Hypocrisy"; Plus, Hannah Goldfield on...