The New Yorker: Politics And More



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


  • 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.”

  • A Predictable yet Shocking Eruption of Violence in Israel

    20/05/2021 Duración: 20min

    Following seven years of relative peace, violence has erupted in Israel in recent weeks. Hamas has fired rockets into Jerusalem, Israel has bombarded Gaza, and Israelis and Palestinians are fighting in the streets. The international community has its eyes on Israel, with activists using social media to rally support, and world leaders interceding to bring an end to the violence. Ruth Margalit, a New Yorker contributor based in Tel Aviv, joins Carla Blumenkranz to discuss the fighting and what it means for the future of both Israel and Palestine.

  • Joe Biden Wants to Be Like Roosevelt. But Can He Get the Votes?

    17/05/2021 Duración: 19min

    When, on the campaign trail, Joe Biden compared his platform to the New Deal—and, by extension, himself to F.D.R.—who really believed him? Certainly not the left of his party. For a generation, the “end of big government” has been near-consensus in Washington, attested to even by Democrats like Bill Clinton, as well as by Republicans who ran up gigantic deficits. In his hugely ambitious, multi-trillion-dollar plans, Joe Biden argues for big government—very big government—as a force for positive change. Those plans may well fail to win the votes he needs in Congress, because the contemporary United States no longer resembles the country that embraced the New Deal. “You can’t put F.D.R. in Dr. Who’s phone booth and bring him to 2021 and he’ll address the American people,” the historian Jill Lepore says. David Remnick discusses the promise and challenges he faces with Lepore, Susan Glasser, Jelani Cobb, and John Cassidy.

  • Liz Cheney’s Thought Crime

    13/05/2021 Duración: 24min

    On Wednesday morning, Representative Liz Cheney, of Wyoming, was ousted from her position as the House Republican Conference chair. Cheney was one of ten House Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump for his role in the January 6th Capitol insurrection, and her expulsion from the chair position is seen as a move by the Republican leadership to unify the Party behind the former President. Susan B. Glasser joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss Trump’s continued stranglehold over the G.O.P. and what to expect from the immediate future of both parties.

  • Atul Gawande and Siddhartha Mukherjee on the State of the Pandemic

    10/05/2021 Duración: 18min

    After a year of battling COVID-19, parts of the United States are celebrating a gradual turn toward normalcy, but the pandemic isn’t over—and it may never be over, exactly. Atul Gawande tells David Remnick that a hard core of vaccine resisters, along with reservoirs of the virus in domestic animals, may make herd immunity elusive. Rather, he says, the correct goal is to bring the impact of COVID-19 down to that of something like the flu. Meanwhile, India is now overwhelmed by a devastating death toll, reported at around four thousand per day but likely much higher. Siddhartha Mukherjee, who reported on the pandemic in developing nations, says that commitments from the West such as extra doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will barely scratch the surface. A national mobilization will be required to even begin to flatten the curve.

  • A High-School Cheerleader, the Supreme Court, and the First Amendment

    06/05/2021 Duración: 20min

    In 2017, Brandi Levy, a junior-varsity cheerleader at Mahanoy Area High School, in Pennsylvania, was denied a spot on the school’s varsity squad. That weekend, off campus, Levy posted a furious, profanity-filled photo and message about the decision on Snapchat. A student who saw the message showed a screenshot to her mother—the cheer coach. Levy was barred from cheerleading for the rest of the year. The A.C.L.U. helped Levy’s parents file suit against the school in federal court, claiming that Brandi’s First Amendment right to free speech had been curtailed. Last week, four years after that pivotal snap, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L. Jeannie Suk Gersen joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss this contentious case and what it means for free speech in the digital age.

  • Three Women Who Changed the World

    03/05/2021 Duración: 18min

    “The Agitators” is a book about three women—three revolutionaries—who changed the world at a time when women weren’t supposed to be in public life at all. Frances Seward was a committed abolitionist who settled with her husband in the small town of Auburn, in western New York. One of their neighbors was a Quaker named Martha Coffin Wright, who helped organize the first convention for women’s rights, at Seneca Falls. Both women harbored fugitives when it was a violation of federal law. And, after they met Harriet Tubman, through the Underground Railroad, Tubman also settled in Auburn. “The Agitators,” by The New Yorker’s executive editor, Dorothy Wickenden, tells their interlocking stories. “These people were outsiders, and they were revolutionaries,” Wickenden tells David Remnick. “They were only two generations separated from the Declaration of Independence, which they believed in literally. They did not understand why women and Black Americans could not have exactly the same rights that had been promised.”

  • #MeToo, 2021

    29/04/2021 Duración: 25min

    This week, W. W. Norton announced that it would take two books by the writer Blake Bailey out of print, after accusations that Bailey has had a long history of sexual misconduct and assault. The case has helped bring the struggle against sexual misconduct back into the cultural spotlight. The New Yorker staff writers Alexandra Schwartz, who wrote about Bailey, and Jane Mayer, who has reported on sexual misconduct by powerful men, join Dorothy Wickenden to discuss the state of the #MeToo movement in 2021.

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