Diane Rehm’s weekly podcast features newsmakers, writers, artists and thinkers on the issues she cares about most: what’s going on in Washington, ideas that inform, and the latest on living well as we live longer.
Abraham Lincoln And Lessons For A Divided America
As Donald Trump’s presidency deepened social, racial and political divides in the country, people began to look to the Civil War era for lessons on how to move forward.
Pulitzer prize–winning author Jon Meacham was one of those people. In his new book, “And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle,” Meacham chronicles the life of Abraham Lincoln, and the evolution of his moral principles and political leadership.
Digging into history is a familiar exercise for Meacham. He has previously written about presidents Andrew Jackson and George H.W. Bush, and his 2018 book, “The Soul of America” traced pivotal moments of struggle in our country’s history -- and argued we have always come through the darkness to a better place.
Diane spoke with Jon Meacham about the similarities between the state of democracy in the 1800s and today, and what the era of Lincoln can teach us about contemporary politics.
Elon, Twitter And The Decline Of The Social Media Era
It has been less than a month since Elon Musk officially took the reins at Twitter. In that short time, there have been mass layoffs, advertisers have pulled back on spending, and some of the platform’s most prominent users have threatened to leave.
But Twitter is not the only social media company experiencing upheaval. In the last year, Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta has lost hundreds of billions of dollars in value and cut more than 10,000 jobs.
Diane spoke with Ian Bogost, director of the film and media studies program at Washington University in St. Louis and a contributing writer at The Atlantic. In a recent essay Bogost asks if the age of social media is ending, and explains why he thinks that might not be such a bad thing.
The Midterms Are (Almost) Over. What Happens Next?
As ballot counting continues from Tuesday’s midterm elections, one thing has become crystal clear: this was not the outcome anyone had anticipated.
The Republican rout that had been splashed across headlines for months never materialized. Democrats made significant gains in state houses across the country, and when all is said and done, might even have picked up a seat or two in the Senate. In fact, the question of which party will hold a majority in the House come January is also still up in the air, though the GOP is expected to hold a small majority.
Norman Ornstein is an emeritus scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a contributing editor and writer for The Atlantic. He joined Diane to make sense of the results and discuss what they say about American politics today.
An Exit Interview With Dr. Fauci
Dr. Anthony Fauci is leaving his post as the nation’s top infectious disease doctor after nearly four decades.
As director of the The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), he acted as a key advisor to seven presidents. In his position, he helped the United States – and the world -- navigate the AIDS crisis, SARS, the H1N1flu virus, Zika and Ebola.
He was also a frequent guest on The Diane Rehm Show, whose list of appearances reads like a history of infectious disease in America.
This was, of course, well before the pandemic pushed Dr. Fauci into the spotlight, where he became a hero to many, a villain to some, receiving death threats and harassment even as he oversaw the race to develop a Covid vaccine.
Diane invited Dr. Fauci to join her on the podcast one last time before he steps down from his post at NIAID at the end of the year. He talked about why he feels now is the right time to change his role and start to focus on inspiring the next generation of public health professionals.
Lessons For The Media In An Anti-Democratic Age
Margaret Sullivan started her career at the Buffalo News, her hometown paper. After 19 years as a reporter, she took over as top editor and ran the newsroom for more than a decade.
In 2012, Sullivan became the public editor of the New York Times, turning a critical eye on the paper’s coverage and seeking accountability for journalistic missteps.
In the heat of the 2016 election, Sullivan again switched papers — and roles. She joined the Washington Post as media columnist, where she traced the press’s role in the rise of Donald Trump, and the media’s efforts to combat the spread of misinformation.
Earlier this year, Sullivan left the Post and set out to write a memoir, which, she admits, quickly became a manifesto. In “Newsroom Confidential: Lessons (and Worries) from an Ink-stained Life,” Sullivan draws on her decades of experience to push journalism toward regaining the public’s trust and playing more of a central role in upholding America’s fragile democracy.
Lies About The 2020 Election Hang Over The Midterms
A majority of Republican candidates and voters question the results of the 2020 election. What does this mean for the midterms and beyond?
In the run up to November’s vote, New York Times political correspondent Nick Corasaniti’s reporting has focused on right wing efforts to shake belief in the country’s free and fair election system, and the threats those efforts pose to our democracy.
He and his colleagues have examined public opinion, tracked candidate statements, and followed campaigns across the country to see just how widespread the lies about the 2020 results have become, and the actions that doubt is inspiring as voting begins in the midterms.
This is how it’s done
Diane is a lovely host. She’s long been a favorite of mine going back to her days when she hosted the best show on NPR. Her deep understanding of the issues and compassion for humanity should be an inspiration to us all. She’s the epitome of a class act.
Love Diane...used to listen to her on WAMU when assigned to the National Capitol Region before podcast became available. I listened carefully to John Meacham, he said that if I think differently than, presumably, his friend Joe Biden, the Left, and their policies, then I'm crazy. That only Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger and a small few others are "good" Republicans. I non-concur. I'm a 34-year veteran of the Marine Corps, Black, Ivy League educated, former assistant professor at the National War College, who took an oath to the Constitution upon enlisting and at every promotion up to retiring as a colonel. Understood and can agree with his description of Unity as not necessarily finding those areas where most or all agree but rather acknowledging the process and accepting the outcomes. That's fine except why does the Left not have to accept when Conservatives want something different than what President Biden, Speaker Pelosi, and Majority Leader Schumer and use the system to achieve it? To use his own words, I certainly do not compare Joe Biden to the Almighty, and I cannot imagine any Conservative being worse for the Country than this idealogue who's insecurities cause him to exaggerate his accomplishments and abilities. God Bless America...we got through the Racist President Woodrow Wilson, we'll get through a not-quite-bright President who can't articulate a coherent position on anything so he just shouts and denigrates anyone who disagrees with him. I've never heard him acknowledge that Mitt Romney is a good man (like Senator McCain said about Candidiate Obama) who certainly didn't deserve to be characterized as "...wanting to put Black people back in chains!" DISPICIBLE
I have sorely missed the Diane Rehm show on NPR and am delighted to find this podcast! Diane is not afraid to tackle tough topics and asks pointed questions. Great guests as well.