Fresh Air from WHYY, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Hosted by Terry Gross, the show features intimate conversations with today's biggest luminaries.
Best Of: B.J. Novak / Colson Whitehead
B.J. Novak played Ryan on 'The Office' and served as a writer and an executive producer of the series. His new FX/Hulu anthology show, 'The Premise,' deals with important cultural issues, like social justice, sex tapes, guns, and how we're shaped by social media. We talk about Novak's early stand-up and his friendship with Mindy Kaling.
Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the reboots of 'The Wonder Years' and 'Scenes from a Marriage.'
Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Colson Whitehead's new book, 'Harlem Shuffle,' is about a furniture store owner in Harlem whose sideline is fencing stolen goods. We talk about heists, how New York City has changed, and writing in the pandemic.
Ray Charles On Country Music
Last month, Ray Charles was voted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. That may sound odd to you since he's such a pivotal figure in soul music and rhythm & blues. But his 1962 album, 'Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music,' became one of his best known records, and included two of his biggest hits, "I Can't Stop Loving You" and "You Don't Know Me." Charles spoke with Terry Gross in 1998.
Also, John Powers reviews two thriller films: 'Wife of a Spy' and 'Azor.'
The Facebook Files: What Leaked Documents Tell Us
'Wall Street Journal' reporter Jeff Horwitz says Facebook executives often choose to boost engagement at the expense of tackling problems like misinformation and mental health issues in teens that are rampant on their platforms.
B.J. Novak played Ryan on 'The Office' and served as a writer and an executive producer of the series. His new FX/Hulu anthology show, 'The Premise,' deals with important cultural issues, like social justice, sex tapes, guns, and how we're shaped by social media. We talk about Novak's early stand-up, doing the MTV prank show 'Punk'd,' and his friendship with Mindy Kaling.
Who Is Tech Billionaire & 'Contrarian' Peter Thiel?
Peter Thiel co-founded PayPal, invested early in Facebook, secretly funded the Hulk Hogan lawsuit that put the website Gawker out of business, and put more than a million dollars into Trump's campaign just after the appearance of the 'Access Hollywood' tapes. Thiel is also known for his interest in some unusual ideas, like independent city-states that float on the ocean, free from oppressive governments. We talk with 'Bloomsberg Businessweek' tech reporter Max Chafkin about his book on Thiel, 'The Contrarian.'
Also, critic David Bianculli reviews two remakes of classic TV shows, 'The Wonder Years' and 'Scenes from a Marriage.'
Evan Osnos On The 'Making Of America's Fury'
How did Americans become so divided? And how did we come so close to overturning the results of a presidential election? These are some of the questions at the heart of the new book 'Wildland,' by 'New Yorker' staff writer Evan Osnos. Osnos bookended his coverage of Trump by reporting on Trump's white nationalist support during his 2016 campaign and the attack on the capital by Trump supporters after the 2020 election. Osnos is also the author of a book about Joe Biden, and has profiled Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin. He'll offer some insights into Manchin and his complicated relationship with Biden, now that Manchin holds the key vote on infrastructure and voting rights legislation.
Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews 'The Fortnight in September,' by R.C. Sherriff.
More Terry, Less Dave
Terry is a fantastic interviewer. I've listened to her for many years, and always finds that she asks such great questions and establishes amazing rapport with most of her subjects. Lately, tho, I just haven't resonated with most of the people she chooses to interview, and I miss feeling excited about the next episode of the show. Also, I really don't enjoy Dave Davies' interviews. He's got kind of a flat, sing-songy voice that puts me to sleep, and doesn't ever seem excited about the interview, no matter who he's talking with. There's generally always juice with Terry, and if she's about to retire, then please bring in a cohost who's sharper and more interesting.
Great show, but poorly edited as podcast
I was very excited to have access to Fresh Air as a podcast since I'm usually working when the show airs. The interviews are great, but the editing has been disappointing. Segment changes are choppy and episodes often end mid-sentence. The Ken Burns segment of March 15 was a particular disappointment, ending less than 10 minutes into the episode. I love the show! I just hope the editing improves.
Zero stars for subscriber usability
I recently accidentally subscribed to the paid version of this show. I can’t afford to subscribe and as soon as I recognized my error I unsubscribed, so now after the month that I paid for is over I can’t listen anymore, because I can’t access the non-subscriber version. This makes me very sad, and annoyed. There must be a way to access the free content from my Apple podcast app, but for the life of me I can’t figure it out. I already give what I can to my NPR station, and I will be lost as a listener if I can’t listen to a non-subscriber edition without having to switch platforms.
I love this show…. Now let me listen!