Fresh Air on 89.5-1

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An award-winning show and one of public radio's most iconic programs, Fresh Air is a weekday "talk show" that hardly fits the mold. Fresh Air Weekend collects the week's best cultural segments and crafts them together for great weekend listening. The show is produced by WHYY.

Fresh Air opens the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics. Terry Gross is known for her extraordinary ability to engage guests of all dispositions.

Ways to Connect

The president isn't known for his faith. Instead, author Sarah Posner says he connects with Evangelicals by voicing the legal, social, religious and cultural grievances of the Christian right.

Welcome to Chechnya is a grimly ironic title for a documentary that plays like a chilling undercover thriller. The camerawork is rough and ragged; the sense of menace is palpable.

The movie opens on a dark street in the southern Russian republic of Chechnya, where a man smokes a cigarette and arranges secret meetings and transports by phone. This is David Isteev, a crisis intervention coordinator for the Russian LGBT Network, and he spends his days helping gay and transgender Chechens flee a place where they are no longer safe.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

I always remember how a beloved college professor of mine responded when I told him the news that I'd gotten a fellowship to a Ph.D. program in English. "Well," he said, "at least you'll be able to read Finnegans Wake in the unemployment line."

At the time, I laughed along. I, too, believed literature would be enough of a consolation were I ever to find myself jobless and broke. But no more. The passing years and the present economic crisis make Finnegans Wake seem like cold comfort.

On Feb. 9, 1950, Joseph McCarthy, a junior senator from Wisconsin, stunned the nation — and stoked the paranoia of the Cold War — when he alleged that there were 205 spies working within the U.S. State Department. It was the beginning of a four-year anti-communist, anti-gay crusade in which McCarthy would charge military leaders, diplomats, teachers and professors with being traitors.

Growing up in Queens in the 1970s, Padma Lakshmi remembers eating a spaghetti dish her mother made with upma, an Indian porridge. The Top Chef host and executive producer, who came to the U.S. from India at age 4, says such culinary mash-ups are common in immigrant kitchens.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

After playing Captain Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation for seven seasons — more than 170 episodes — and in four movies, Patrick Stewart was ready to say goodbye to the role in 2002.

"Star Trek had taken over my life," Stewart says. "I got to a point ... when I felt that I had said everything that I wanted to say about Jean-Luc Picard and his life on the Enterprise."

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

For more than two decades as an internist at New York City's Bellevue Hospital, Dr. Danielle Ofri has seen her share of medical errors. She warns that they are far more common than many people realize — especially as hospitals treat a rapid influx of COVID-19 patients.

"I don't think we'll ever know what number, in terms of cause of death, is [due to] medical error — but it's not small," she says.

For Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the hip-hop musical Hamilton, history always informs the present. "The past isn't done with us. Ever, ever, ever," he says.

Hamilton tells the story of the nation's Founding Fathers, including Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton. Miranda wrote the music and lyrics and starred in the original production, which debuted on Broadway in 2015. The production garnered 11 Tony Awards, a Pulitzer Prize for drama and a Grammy for its original cast recording.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, editor of the website TV Worth Watching, sitting in for Terry Gross.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

The killing of George Floyd has ignited protests and inspired conversations — and changes — across the globe.

Author Susan Burton says food has been the site of her anxieties for as long as she can remember. For decades the editor at This American Life struggled with eating disorders.

Through therapy, Burton connected her disordered eating to her parents' divorce and not getting emotional needs met. She says that one of the reasons she was so preoccupied with food was that she was hungry all the time: "Hunger was something that I believed protected me and gave me power," she says.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

I feel for any author who has a work of literary fiction or non-fiction coming out these days. The world's focus is, naturally, on the pandemic and the protests against racism and police violence. The news seems to change hour-by-hour; no wonder that imaginative literature, a product of silence and slow time, can seem a bit out of step.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

People who have been taking antidepressants for several years sometimes hit a wall, a point when that treatment no longer seems to ease their symptoms. Psychiatrist Julie Holland says that's where psychedelic drugs could help.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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