The New Yorker: Politics And More



A weekly discussion about politics, hosted by The New Yorker's executive editor, Dorothy Wickenden.


  • John Kerry on the Battle Against Climate Change

    02/08/2021 Duración: 14min

    With the world overheating, glaciers melting, and landscapes in flames, it’s difficult to think of a harder or more important job than John Kerry’s. The former senator and Secretary of State is now the special Presidential envoy for climate, a Cabinet-level post created by President Biden. Kerry talks with David Remnick about reasserting the United States’ fitness to lead on global climate action in the wake of Trump Administration policies, and about how to get allies and adversaries to engage in the battle together. He is heading to Glasgow for talks that aim to hold the warming level to 1.5 degrees Celsius. “Imagine what happens at 1.5, if you already see what’s happening at 1.2,” Kerry exclaims. “Is that what we want? You would think not!” 

  • Can “Alternative Facts” Survive the January 6th Investigation?

    29/07/2021 Duración: 21min

    In the immediate aftermath of January 6th, politicians from both parties vilified the mob’s assault. But Republicans scuttled plans for an independent commission to investigate the riot, and the select committee organized by House Democrats has been repeatedly attacked by Republicans. Still, this week, on the first day of hearings, several officers who attempted to defend the building and members of Congress inside painted a vivid, agonizing picture of what took place. Susan B. Glasser, a New Yorker staff writer, joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss the hearings and how some prominent conservatives are beginning to defy Trump on vaccination and on a bipartisan infrastructure deal.

  • Eric Adams Talks with David Remnick

    25/07/2021 Duración: 23min

    The New York City mayoral primary, which culminated in a vote held in June, was full of surprises, including the introduction of ranked-choice voting to a confused electorate, and the presence of Andrew Yang, a newcomer to municipal politics who quickly attained front-runner status. But the winning Democrat was no surprise. Eric Adams is the borough president of Brooklyn and a former state senator, making him an establishment favorite. He was also, for more than two decades, a police officer. With policing at the center of public attention since last year’s uprising of the Black Lives Matter movement, Adams occupies a unique position in the debate. He was a firebrand in the N.Y.P.D. and an advocate for Black officers; and he was, as a teen-age boy, a victim of police abuse himself. But Adams is also a strong defender of the police department. He has spoken about the correct way to implement stop-and-frisk policies, which have been previously carried out in ways that were ruled unconstitutional. He rebuked can

  • A Former Olympian Discusses the Tribulations of Tokyo 2020

    22/07/2021 Duración: 21min

    The opening ceremony for the 2020 Summer Olympics, in Tokyo, is scheduled for Friday. With COVID{:.small}-19 cases spiking worldwide, and Japan under a state of emergency, many wonder whether the Olympics should be cancelled. Angela Ruggiero competed in four Olympic Games as a member of the U.S. Women’s Hockey Team, winning a gold medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics, in Nagano. Ruggiero has since served on the International Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympic Committee, and helped to organize Los Angeles’s successful bid to host the 2028 summer games. She joins the New Yorker staff writer Louisa Thomas to discuss the challenges in Tokyo and what these Games could mean for the future of the Olympics.  

  • Afghanistan’s Only All-Girls Boarding School Fears for the Return of the Taliban

    19/07/2021 Duración: 17min

    Since the U.S. withdrawal began, Taliban forces have re-captured more than a quarter of Afghanistan’s districts. Shabana Basij-Rasikh is the co-founder of the country’s only all-girls boarding school, and she is anxiously waiting to see if the Taliban—which brutally opposes the education of girls and women—will make inroads in Kabul. At SOLA, the School of Leadership Afghanistan, students are free from the threats and violence that is commonly suffered in villages, and the expectations of housework that interfere with studying. Basij-Rasikh told the staff writer Sue Halpern how she was educated secretly, during the Taliban’s rule, and about her belief that Kabul will not fall to the group’s resurgence. “I was speaking with a young woman and she said, ‘Yes, sure, the Taliban will kill more of us. The Taliban will kill a lot more of us. But they will never, ever rule over us.’ ”

  • Tough Tests in Cuba and Haiti for Biden’s Foreign Policy

    15/07/2021 Duración: 26min

    This week, protests erupted in cities and towns across Cuba as people responded to food and medicine shortages, and to a gutted economy made even worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, Haiti is facing widespread instability after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. President Biden's foreign policy thus far has focused on the threats posed by Russia and China, but now Biden finds himself confronting immediate challenges only ninety miles south of the U.S. border. Jon Lee Anderson joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss Cuba, Haiti, and the past and future of American foreign policy in the region.

  • Ronan Farrow and Jia Tolentino on Britney Spears’s Conservatorship

    12/07/2021 Duración: 31min

    Britney Spears has been one of the world’s most prominent pop stars since her début, in the late nineteen-nineties. But, since 2008, she’s been under a court-ordered conservatorship—a form of legal guardianship—which has restricted nearly all aspects of her life. Details about the arrangement have been kept out of public view, all while Spears has continued to turn out records and perform lucrative shows, earning millions of dollars for those around her. But the pop star is now directly confronting the people and structures that have ruled her life for the past decade. In recent court testimony, Spears openly detailed her experience under the conservatorship for the first time. She demanded her liberty and expressed her anger, profound sadness, and frustration. She even alleged that her conservatorship, which is led by her father, prevented her from getting an IUD removed from her body, which the family denies. The staff writers Ronan Farrow and Jia Tolentino have investigated how Spears wound up in this situ

  • The Newspaperman Who Documented Black Tulsa at Its Height

    05/07/2021 Duración: 34min

    In the years leading up to the horrific Tulsa massacre of 1921, the Greenwood district was a thriving Black metropolis, a city within a city. Buoyed by money from Oklahoma’s oil boom, it was home to the original Cotton Club and to one of the first Black-owned daily newspapers in the United States, the Tulsa Star. The Star’s founder and editor was A. J. Smitherman, a lawyer and the Alabama-born son of a coal miner. He addressed his eloquence and his ire at local nuisances like prostitution and gambling halls, as well as the gravest injustices of American life. The Radio Hour’s KalaLea is the host of “Blindspot: Tulsa Burning.” She looks in this story at how Smitherman documented Greenwood at its height, and how he tried to prevent its destruction.  “Blind Spot: Tulsa Burning” is a six-part podcast co-produced by the History Channel and WNYC Studios, in collaboration with KOSU and Focus Black Oklahoma. The team includes Caroline Lester, Alana Casanova-Burgess, Joe Plourde, Emily Mann, Jenny Lawton, Emily Botein

  • The New Culture Wars Over American History

    02/07/2021 Duración: 23min

    In September, 2020, the writer Christopher Rufo appeared on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” to discuss the threat posed by “critical race theory.” Rufo had come across the term while looking into the origins of the anti-racism movement, and saw its potential as a conservative target. In the months since, critical race theory has been condemned by President Trump, outlawed by several state legislatures, and endlessly debated in town halls and school-board meetings. The uproar, largely manufactured by Rufo and amplified by conservative activists in government and in the media, goes hand in hand with the controversies around the Times’ 1619 Project, and with the resistance to the movement to take down Confederate monuments. Benjamin Wallace-Wells, a New Yorker staff writer, joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss the furor over critical race theory, and how to understand the current rethinking of the country’s past.

  • The Unhoused House Sitters of Los Angeles

    28/06/2021 Duración: 18min

    More than half a million people in America today lack housing. Some sixty-six thousand live in Los Angeles County alone. Among them is Augustus Evans, whose desire for steady work was thwarted by a felony record for bank robbery. Evans has been homeless for about a decade, but, for more than seven years, he’s kept a roof over his head and put some money in his pocket by house-sitting, as a form of gig work. A company called Weekend Warriors pays him eight hundred dollars a month to provide twenty-four-hour security for temporarily vacant properties in and around Los Angeles, most of which are in the process of being flipped. Evans has lived in more than twenty houses; he often has to chase off squatters—other unhoused people, and sometimes drug addicts, seeking shelter in the same places. Though he appreciates what he calls “shelter with pay,” he understands all too well how the real-estate industry is exploiting people. “They know the people going to default on a loan, they’ll go into foreclosure, and they’r

  • Stonewall Manchin

    24/06/2021 Duración: 24min

    Over the first five months of Biden's presidency, with the Democrats holding the slimmest possible majority in the Senate, President Biden has consistently run into the resistance of one man: Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Biden's policy agenda requires cooperation from every Democrat in the Senate, but Manchin, a moderate who values bipartisanship above almost all else, has broken with the president on staff appointments, raising the corporate tax rate, and eliminating the filibuster, and he has forced the Democrats to change legislation on COVID-relief and election reform. Evan Osnos joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss Manchin's emergence as the most powerful man in the Senate, and how Biden is attempting to get him on board. 

  • Naftali Bennett and the New Hard Line in Israeli Politics

    21/06/2021 Duración: 13min

    In 2013, David Remnick published a profile of Naftali Bennett.  He wrote that Bennett was something new in Israeli politics, a man who would “build a sturdy electoral bridge between the religious and the secular, the hilltop outposts of the West Bank and the start-up suburbs.” Though religiously observant, Bennett was cosmopolitan: fluent on Facebook, and as quick to quote Seinfeld as he was the Talmud. He had been a leader of the settler movement, and, although he lived in a modern house in a well-to-do Tel Aviv suburb, there was no ambiguity about Bennett’s hard-line stance on the Palestinian question. He disdained the peace process of an earlier time. “I will do everything in my power to make sure they never get a state,” he told Remnick. “No more illusions.” Bennett has now unseated his former boss, Benjamin Netanyahu, as Prime Minister of Israeli. Remnick spoke with two writers in the region about this political upheaval. Raja Shehadeh, who is based in Ramallah, says that the changing of the guard will m

  • Merrick Garland's Impossible Job

    17/06/2021 Duración: 17min

    Merrick Garland made his legal reputation as a temperate moderate dedicated to keeping politics out of the justice system. Yet in the past few years, he has found himself at the center of two of the most fiercely partisan episodes in recent history. First, his nomination to the Supreme Court was blocked by obstructionist Republicans. And now, as Attorney General, he has to craft a legal response to the excesses of the Trump Administration. He has already become a target for conservatives, who are portraying him as Joe Biden’s lackey, and progressives, who view him as insufficiently tough on the former President. David Rohde, an executive editor of, joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss the minefield that Garland is navigating, and how his decisions will affect the country in the coming months and years.

  • A Rift over Racism Divides the Southern Baptist Convention

    14/06/2021 Duración: 15min

    Next week, the Southern Baptist Convention will hold its annual meeting. It’s the largest Protestant denomination in the country, and, as the group gathers to elect a new president, it is facing a crisis of identity. At issue is critical-race theory, which the presidential candidate Pastor Mike Stone and many other conservatives have called an extra-Biblical and even demonic source of division and strife. Eliza Griswold has been reporting on a moral crisis within the S.B.C. and emerging fissures between American evangelicals. In 2017, the Reverend Dwight McKissic put forward a resolution condemning alt-right white supremacy, which failed twice before being passed. “It was a feeling of shock. I was stunned, actually,” he told Griswold. “Black pastors were coming to me saying, ‘We’re out. We feel like the Other here.’ ”

  • Naomi Osaka and the Rights of Professional Athletes

    11/06/2021 Duración: 20min

    Last month, Naomi Osaka, the second-ranked women’s tennis player in the world, announced that she would not speak to the press during the French Open. The referee fined her fifteen thousand dollars, and the leaders of the four Grand Slam tournaments threatened her with harsher penalties. In response, Osaka dropped out. Her withdrawal has brought further attention to the power dynamics of professional sports, where wealthy league bosses, the media, and fans exert tremendous pressure on players. Louisa Thomas joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss how athletes are using their fame and visibility to reshape professional sports.

  • The Early Days of ACT-UP, and Its Lessons for Today’s Activists

    07/06/2021 Duración: 17min

    Sarah Schulman is a novelist and playwright as well as a well-known activist and documentarian. She was an early member of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, and, for twenty years, she and the filmmaker Jim Hubbard have run the ACT UP Oral History Project, interviewing surviving members of the group. Out of that work comes a new history of ACT UP in its early days, “Let the Record Show: A Political History of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, New York, 1987-93.” Schulman talks with David Remnick about the group’s successes, its lessons for young activists, and also its greatest failing. “We were able to defeat H.I.V.,” she said. “But we couldn’t defeat capitalism. And we still don’t have a workable health-care system in this country.”

  • Biden’s Plan to Reshape the American Economy

    04/06/2021 Duración: 19min

    A semblance of pre-pandemic life has resumed across the country, but the economic signs are mixed, even after the strong jobs report for May. Supply chains are bottlenecked, unemployment is just under six per cent, and fiscal conservatives warn about inflation. President Biden has stated to Congress, in defense of his stimulus plans and of his six-trillion-dollar budget, that “trickle-down economics has never worked,” and that the best way to strengthen the economy is from the bottom up, not the top down. John Cassidy joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss the political perils and promise of Bidenomics.

  • How Will the Biden Administration Deliver on Racial Justice?

    31/05/2021 Duración: 13min

    Joe Biden has spoken clearly about the reality of systemic racism in America, and he’s said that racial justice would be a defining element of his Presidency. Such a statement would have been unlikely before the movement that followed the death of George Floyd, or before the overt white supremacy that was on display during the 2017 Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally, which Biden has said convinced him to run in 2020.  Vanita Gupta will be one of the key people guiding the Administration’s response. She was confirmed in April as Associate Attorney General, the No. 3 position at the Department of Justice, overseeing the Civil Rights Division. David Remnick spoke with Gupta about how Biden intends to make good on his promises, and whether criminal-justice reform is still possible in bitterly divided Washington.

  • The Democratic Party, Reimagined by Young Progressives

    27/05/2021 Duración: 23min

    Over the past four years, progressive insurgents have defeated moderate incumbents in Democratic primaries across the country. These politicians have aggressively pursued policies such as the Green New Deal and have been credited with pushing the Biden Administration’s policy priorities to the left. Much of this work is fuelled by grassroots youth movements such as Justice Democrats and the Sunrise Movement. Some worry that the shift will alienate moderate Democrats, and put the Party’s electoral fortunes at risk. Andrew Marantz, a New Yorker staff writer, joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss the progressive movement within the Democratic Party, and the groups that have helped it gain traction.

  • Can We Finally End School Segregation?

    26/05/2021 Duración: 45min

    By many accounts, American schools are as segregated today as they were in the nineteen-sixties, in the years after Brown v. Board of Education. WNYC’s podcast “The United States of Anxiety” chronicled the efforts of one small school district, Sausalito Marin City Schools, in California, to desegregate. Fifty years after parents and educators there first attempted integration, the state’s attorney general found that the district “knowingly and intentionally” maintained a segregated system, violating the equal-protection clause of the Constitution. The district’s older public school, which served mostly Black and Latino students, suffered neglect; meanwhile, a new charter school, though racially diverse, enrolled virtually all the white children in the district. The reporter Marianne McCune explored how one community overcame decades of distrust to finally integrate. This episode was edited from “The United States of Anxiety” ’s “Two Schools in Marin County” and “Desegregation by Any Means Necessary.”

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