150 episodios

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

The New Yorker: Politics and Mor‪e‬ The New Yorker

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

    Is the Forever War in Afghanistan Coming to an End?

    Is the Forever War in Afghanistan Coming to an End?

    American troops have been in Afghanistan for nearly twenty years. Every President since George W. Bush has promised an imminent end to the fighting and a U.S. withdrawal, but none has succeeded. The Trump Administration brokered a deal with the Taliban which planned to end the American military presence in the country this May, and peace talks are under way in Doha, Qatar. But, in recent months, hundreds of Afghans have been killed in a series of assassinations apparently orchestrated by the Taliban—and some, perhaps, by the government in Kabul. Dexter Filkins joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss the difficulties faced by the Biden Administration.

    • 20 min
    Clubhouse Opens a Window for Free Expression in China

    Clubhouse Opens a Window for Free Expression in China

    Clubhouse is an audio-only social-media platform offering chat rooms on any subject, allowing thousands of people to gather and listen to each other. Jiayang Fan, who often reports on China, tells David Remnick that the chance to talk in private and without a text trail has opened a window of free expression for Chinese users. (Recently, some questions have been raised about whether the app is as secure as its makers claim.) Suddenly, in chat rooms with names like “There is a concentration camp in Xinjiang?,” Chinese users are able to address politically taboo subjects out loud in large groups. A Clubhouse chat-room moderator explains to Fan that for Han Chinese, who are the beneficiaries of the government’s persecution of Uighurs and other ethnic minorities, the app offers a space for reckoning and protest comparable to America’s Black Lives Matter movement. The government has clamped down on Clubhouse, but tech-savvy young people are used to finding workarounds.

    • 14 min
    Are There Politics on Mars?

    Are There Politics on Mars?

    This week, after a six-month, 292.5-million-mile journey, NASA{:.small}’s Perseverance rover touched down on the surface of Mars. The United States is the only country to have successfully landed on the Red Planet, but spacecraft from China and the United Arab Emirates recently arrived in Mars’s orbit. In the fifty years since the Cold War space race was at its peak, other governments and private businesses have launched ambitious space programs. How long can the United States remain the leader in space exploration? Adam Mann joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss the Perseverance mission and the past and future of America’s space program.

    • 20 min
    Congressman Jamie Raskin on Impeaching Donald Trump—Again

    Congressman Jamie Raskin on Impeaching Donald Trump—Again

    Tommy Raskin, a twenty-five-year-old law student, took his own life on New Year’s Eve, after a long battle against depression. His family laid him to rest on January 5th, and, the next day, his father went to the United States Capitol, where he serves in Congress. Representative Jamie Raskin, who represents Maryland’s Eighth District, had an enormous task ahead of him: he was mounting the defense of the Electoral College vote. When a violent mob incited by Donald Trump breached the building, Raskin’s life was in danger, along with the lives of his daughter and son-in-law, who had joined him that day for support. Just weeks later, when the House impeached Donald Trump for his role in inciting that insurrection, Raskin was the lead manager prosecuting the case. Raskin told David Remnick about the devastation of a suicide in the family, his condolence calls from President Biden and Vice-President Harris, and how he believed the entire Senate would unite to convict Donald Trump.

    • 17 min
    How Did a Mob’s Attack on the Capitol Become Part of the Free-Speech Debate?

    How Did a Mob’s Attack on the Capitol Become Part of the Free-Speech Debate?

    After the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, several social-media companies banned a host of far-right figures, as well as President Trump. The move provoked an outcry among conservatives, many of whom accused those companies of violating users’ First Amendment rights. The country’s ever-present disagreements over what, exactly, constitutes free speech have taken on new urgency in this era of little-regulated social media, disinformation, exhortations to violence, and so-called cancel culture. Andrew Marantz joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss the future of free speech in our splintered nation.

    • 22 min
    The Supreme Court of Facebook

    The Supreme Court of Facebook

    Facebook is at the center of the hottest controversies over freedom of speech, and its opaque, unaccountable decisions have angered people across the political spectrum. Mark Zuckerberg’s answer to this mess is to outsource: Facebook recently created and endowed a permanent body it calls the Oversight Board—like a Supreme Court whose decisions will be binding for the company. And Facebook immediately referred to the board a crucial question: whether to reinstate Donald Trump on the platform, after he was banned for inciting the January 6th riot at the Capitol. In this collaboration between the New Yorker Radio Hour and Radiolab, the producer Simon Adler explores the creation of the Oversight Board with Kate Klonick, whose reporting appears in The New Yorker. What they learn calls into question whether Zuckerberg’s fundamentally American-style view of free speech can be exported around the world without resulting in sometimes dire consequences. 

    • 37 min

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