150 episodes

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

The New Yorker: Politics and More The New Yorker

    • Politics

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

    Hasan Minhaj on Being His Ancestors’ Wildest Dreams

    Hasan Minhaj on Being His Ancestors’ Wildest Dreams

    Hasan Minhaj, a comedian and political commentator, is the host of Nexflix’s “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj.” His show—which has won both an Emmy and a Peabody—has frequently gone viral. Last year, Minhaj became a household name when he testified before Congress on the weight of student loan debt. He spoke with Carrie Battan at the 2019 New Yorker Festival about how he got invited to Washington, developing his specific brand of writing while working as a correspondent on “The Daily Show,” and how his family has helped to shape his voice as a comedian. “You don't know how long you have these shows for,” he tells Battan. “To me, if you do have that privilege, just be surgical in the way you use it.”

    • 17 min
    Keeping Released Prisoners Safe and Sane

    Keeping Released Prisoners Safe and Sane

    Starting this spring, many states began releasing some inmates from prisons and jails to try to reduce the spread of COVID-19. But a huge number of incarcerated people are mentally ill or addicted to drugs, or sometimes both. When those people are released, they may lose their only consistent access to treatment. Marianne McCune, a reporter for WNYC, spent weeks following a psychiatrist and a social worker as they tried to locate and then help some recently released patients at a time of uncertainty and chaos. 

    This is a collaboration between The New Yorker Radio Hour and WNYC’s “The United States of Anxiety.”

    • 29 min
    At the Supreme Court: A Big Day for DACA, and a Bad Day for Trump

    At the Supreme Court: A Big Day for DACA, and a Bad Day for Trump

    This week, in a 5–4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled unlawful the Trump Administration’s decision to cancel the DACA program. DACA protects from deportation some seven hundred thousand undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. Though DACA and the “Dreamers” that it protects have widespread public support, the Trump Administration remains hostile to the program. Jonathan Blitzer joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss DACA’s big day in court, and the Trump Administration’s next moves on immigration policy.

    • 22 min
    Masha Gessen on Recognizing an Autocrat

    Masha Gessen on Recognizing an Autocrat

    In the past month, President Trump has cleared peaceful demonstrations with tear gas, told governors to “dominate” protesters, and threatened to invoke the Insurrection Act. The staff writer Masha Gessen argues that transgressions like these are signs that the President’s mind-set is fundamentally not democratic but autocratic. “Polarization and violence and high anxiety are all things that benefit an autocrat,” they warn David Remnick. Gessen’s new book, “Surviving Autocracy,” draws on their experience as a targeted journalist in Russia, and Gessen sees troubling similarities between Trump and Vladimir Putin.

    • 15 min
    Arkansas Prisoners Organize Against Unchecked Racism and the Coronavirus

    Arkansas Prisoners Organize Against Unchecked Racism and the Coronavirus

    The Cummins Unit, a penitentiary in southeastern Arkansas, opened in 1902. Designed as a prison for black men, its rigid hierarchy and system of unpaid labor have been likened to slavery. The population at Cummins, still overwhelmingly black, has been devastated by the coronavirus—the prison has the tenth-largest outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.Rachel Aviv joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss what incarcerated men in Cummins told her about their study group, called the Think Tank; about black identity in America; how they have organized to demand adequate measures against the pandemic; and what they think about the protests following the killing of George Floyd.

    • 19 min
    Running for Office During a Pandemic

    Running for Office During a Pandemic

    The need for social distancing has upended most of the ways that candidates have traditionally put themselves before voters: gathering crowds, shaking hands, kissing babies. Eric Lach has been following the race in New York’s Seventeenth Congressional District to learn how Facebook Live, e-mail newsletters, and Zoombombs are shaping the race. “There’s no question that people are in pain, and they’re worried and they’re distracted,” Allison Fine, a candidate with a background in digital organizing, said. “So we’re not going to be able to break through all that noise . . . . But all the metrics of engagement are going up.”

    • 14 min

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