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The Brian Lehrer Show


Brian Lehrer leads the conversation about what matters most now in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives.

Brian Lehrer leads the conversation about what matters most now in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives.


New York, NY




Brian Lehrer leads the conversation about what matters most now in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives.






WNYC Radio 160 Varick St. New York, NY 10013 212-433-9692


Monday Morning Politics: Congress To Investigate Jan. 6

Mara Liasson, national political correspondent for NPR, ticks through the biggest political stories from over the weekend and what to watch for in the coming days, including tomorrow's hearings on the Jan. 6 insurrection and vaccination efforts around the country.


Bill Bratton on His Long Career & Today's Rising Gun Violence

Bill Bratton, former New York City police commissioner and the author (with Peter Knobler) of The Profession: A Memoir of Community, Race, and the Arc of Policing in America (Penguin Press, 2021), talks about his law enforcement career as commissioner of police in some of the biggest cities in America, and shares his views on current crime stats, including rising gun violence.


What We Know About COVID Booster Shots and 'Breakthrough' Cases

COVID breakthrough infections are becoming more common as the Delta variant spreads quickly. Dara Kass, emergency medicine physician at the Columbia University Medical Center, explains why it's happening (and why you shouldn't panic), and what to do if you are vaccinated and become infected anyway.


Weighing the Impact of the Supreme Court NCAA Decision

Angel Pérez, CEO of the National Association for College Admission Counseling, talks about his essay in The Atlantic about the impact (and "perverse consequences") of the Supreme Court's decision in the NCAA case allowing broader incentives and some compensation opportunities for student athletes.


Brian Lehrer Weekend: The Case for The 4-Day Week; Why There's Fentanyl in NYC's Cocaine; Black Sabbath

Three of our favorite segments from the week, in case you missed them. The Case for a 4-Day Week (First); Why Fentanyl is Showing up in More Street Drugs (Starts at 21:52); Iconic at 50: Black Sabbath's 'Master of Reality' (Starts at 41:22) If you don't subscribe to the Brian Lehrer Show on iTunes, you can do that here. bl210723_bl_weekend_pod


Ask The Mayor: Vaccine Mandates, COVID Safety In Schools, Street Vendors And More

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio takes calls from listeners and discusses this week in NYC, including quarantine rules for school kids, the NYPD's enforcement against street vendors and whether workplaces should mandate vaccines.


Iconic at 50: Alice Coltrane's 'Journey in Satchidananda'

Andy Beta, music writer whose byline has appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR and more, discusses how Alice Coltrane's 1971 album "Journey in Satchidananda" was shaped by its time and has influenced music for generations to come.


Vaccine Requirements Take Hold in Europe and the U.S.

Reed Abelson, who covers the business of health care for The New York Times, and Roger Cohen, the Paris Bureau Chief of The New York Times, talk about how employers and institutions across the country and abroad are starting to require vaccination in order to work or participate in daily activities.


The Latest on Vaccine Boosters

Céline Gounder, MD, ScM, FIDSA, CEO/President/Founder of Just Human Productions, a non-profit multimedia organization; host and producer of American Diagnosis, a podcast on health and social justice, and Epidemic, a podcast about the coronavirus pandemic; Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine & Infectious Diseases at NYU School of Medicine & Bellevue Hospital and who also served on the Biden-Harris Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board, discusses whether or not we will need vaccine booster...


NYC Nightlife: Recovery and Future Plans

Ariel Palitz, senior executive director of New York City's Office of Nightlife at the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, discusses the report issued last month that looks back on the Office of Nightlife's first three years, the hard-hit sector's recovery status, and offers ideas for where we go from here.


Rep. Ritchie Torres on Housing Vouchers and National News

U.S. Representative Ritchie Torres, (D-NY15), talks about his proposed legislation to expand the Section 8 voucher program, plus other issues in his district and Congress.


Extreme Weather Globally May Only Get Worse

Adam Sobel, professor at Columbia University, director of Columbia's Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate, host of the podcast "Deep Convection" and author of Storm Surge: Hurricane Sandy, Our Changing Climate, and Extreme Weather of the Past and Future (Harper-Collins, 2014)


Why Fentanyl Is Ending Up in More Street Drugs

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tracked a recent increase in deaths involving cocaine and synthetic opioids. Caroline Lewis, freelance journalist and frequent contributor to Gothamist/WNYC, and Sessi Kuwabara Blanchard, harm reduction outreach worker at a NYC syringe exchange, program director of the DSA's Opioid Overdose Prevention Program and freelance journalist, talk about why fentanyl is becoming more ubiquitous and what we can do to prevent overdose deaths.


COVID Long-Haul Updates

Marjan Islam, M.D., director of the COVID-19 Recovery and Engagement (CORE) Clinic at Montefiore Medical Center and assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Pulmonary Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, talks about the latest in COVID long haul symptoms.


Critical Race Theory 101

As one of the preeminent scholars of critical race theory and its reading of history, Ibram X. Kendi, professor in the Humanities and the founding director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research, columnist at The Atlantic, author of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (Bold Type Books, 2016)and the co-editor of Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 (One World, 2021),...


Behind the Scenes in Trump's Last Year in Office

The Washington Post's White House senior Washington correspondent Philip Rucker and national investigative reporter Carol Leonnig, authors of I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump's Catastrophic Final Year (Penguin Press, 2021), tell the untold story of 2020 and the Trump White House and how last year's events reverberate today.


Public Health and Individual Health and the Pandemic

Laurie Garrett, Pulitzer, Peabody, and Polk-prize-winning health and science writer, and author of multiple best-selling books on global health and epidemic diseases, including The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance, talks about the latest developments with COVID-19 and how the tension between public health versus individual health informs guidance on boosters and masking and other measures to prevent infections.


Bill Barr and the Law

Elie Honig, CNN senior legal analyst and author of Hatchet Man: How Bill Barr Broke the Prosecutor's Code and Corrupted the Justice Department (HarperCollins, 2021) talks about his new book examining the Bill Barr era at the DOJ, plus offers analysis of current legal issues.


How Los Angeles is Grappling With its Homelessness Crisis

Homelessness in Los Angeles was already a crisis when the pandemic hit. Jaime Lowe, contributor to The New York Times Magazine and author of three books, including the forthcoming Breathing Fire: Female Inmate Firefighters on the Frontlines of California's Wildfires (MCD, 2021), talks about how unhoused residents have become a political flashpoint in L.A., and how the city and state are attempting to confront the crisis.


Tuesday Morning (New York City and State) Politics

Christina Greer, political science professor at Fordham University, host of the podcast FAQNYC, politics editor at The Grio and author of Black Ethnics (Oxford University Press, 2013), talks about the latest city political news, as Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams makes the media rounds as the Democratic nominee for mayor, and the sexual harassment investigation into Governor Cuomo wraps up.