The Brian Lehrer Show-logo

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


Thursday Morning Politics

Robert Costa, national political reporter at The Washington Post and moderator of Washington Week on PBS, talks about the latest national news - including the president's handling of the protests, Gen. Mattis' criticism of the president and more.


Police Corruption in Mount Vernon, NY Exposed

Police officers in Mount Vernon, NY revealed widespread corruption, including framing people for crimes they didn't commit, on secretly recorded tapes. George Joseph, WNYC/Gothamist reporter, talks about his reporting and the crimes and culture on the Westchester police force plus, Murashea “Mike” Bovell, Mount Vernon police officer and whistleblower in George Joseph's story calls in.


Parenting and Protest

Clint Smith, writer, author of the poetry collection Counting Descent and the forthcoming nonfiction book How the Word Is Passed (Little, Brown 2021), talks about how his activism has changed since having children, and takes your calls on how parenting informs how you protest.


Politics, Protest and COVID in NYC

Mara Gay, New York Times editorial board member, talks about the mayor's handling of this week's protests in the city, policing of the protests, and how the pandemic is affecting the crowds (or not).


The Research on Policing Protests

Jamiles Lartey, a New Orleans-based staff writer for The Marshall Project, looks at what research shows works best for policing protests, and when over-policing leads to more violence.


High Schoolers in Canarsie Take on Environmental Racism

After months of deliberation, a pandemic, and thousands of submissions, meet the winners of the 2020 NPR Student Podcast Challenge! Students Jaheim Birch Gentles and Joshua Bovell talk about their winning podcast, The Flossy Podcast: Climate Change & Environmental Racism, which takes on environmental racism and their frustration with the lack of black climate activists. They're joined by their teacher and mentor Mischaël Cetoute, a restorative justice coordinator who helps run the Men in...


How an American Protest Has Gone Global

Ishaan Tharoor, columnist in The Washington Post newsroom and author of Today's WorldView, the Post's international affairs newsletter, talks about how protests on police brutality and George Floyd look around the world.


Rep. Espaillat's 'Harlem Manifesto'

Adriano Espaillat, U.S. Representative (D, NY-13), talks about his Harlem Manifesto, a set of policies he's advocating to end police brutality.


The Race (and Struggle) for Vaccines

Peter Staley, HIV/AIDS activist, former member of ACT-UP NY and founder of the Treatment Action Group, traces the link between the race to find a COVID-19 vaccine and the long term struggle develop a vaccine for AIDS.


A New York Legislator's Take on the Protests

Zellnor Myrie, New York State Senator (D-20), talks about his experience getting pepper sprayed at a protest last weekend, and discusses laws he hopes to pass that would help change the justice system and reform policing.


How New Yorkers Will Vote -- and Get Their Votes Counted

Brigid Bergin, WNYC City Hall and politics reporter, talks about the challenges facing the Board of Elections -- and the voters -- for this month's New York primary.


Politics and Protest

Jason Johnson, professor at Morgan State University, political contributor at MSNBC, contributor to The Grio and Sirius XM, and Christina Greer, political science professor at Fordham University, host of the podcast FAQNYC, politics editor at The Grio and the host of The Aftermath on Ozy , talk about the uprisings happening across the country, and the political ramifications.


Primary Preview: Contested House Races

Emily Ngo, NY1 political reporter, and Ben Max, executive editor of Gotham Gazette and co-host of the Max & Murphy podcast, talks about the House primary races to watch as New Yorkers go to the polls, or mail in their ballots, this month.


We Want to Talk About Race

Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor. George Floyd. The list of unarmed black people killed by the police and other armed white people keeps getting longer. Ijeoma Oluo author of So You Want to Talk About Race (Seal Press, 2019) and the forthcoming MEDIOCRE: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America (Seal Press, 2020) talks about how Americans can have honest conversations about these killings, and race, racism and white supremacy.


One City, Under Protest

Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President, talks about the protests in New York City following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.


Making Sense of the Nationwide Protests

Jamil Smith, senior writer at Rolling Stone talks about the weekend's uprisings to protest police brutality and racism across the country.


Love in the Time of COVID

Dating is hard. Dating during a pandemic? Well, it's hard and complicated. We open the phone lines to hear how New Yorkers are (or aren't) dating using online platforms with Lane Moore, comedian, creator of the Tinder Live comedy show, and author of How to Be Alone: If You Want To, and Even If You Don't (Atria Books, 2018).


#AskTheMayor: Justice for George Floyd

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio takes calls from listeners and discusses this week in NYC. How can he justify not firing Pantaleo and NYPD's acts of violence on Union Square yesterday when he said what happened in Minnesota was unacceptable? I believe a huge part of our dissatisfaction is that he seems to be all talk, no or contradictory action. May 29, 2020 What's the @NYCMayor doing to ensure "open streets" are actually open & safe for pedestrians & bike riders? I live on one of...


David Brooks on Second Acts

David Brooks, columnist for the New York Times and the author of The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life (Random House, 2019), now out in paperback, talks about his book which examines the lives of people who respond to a crisis by shifting their priorities from themselves to their communities, newly relevant during the COVID-19 crisis, plus offers his take on the national news.


State Sen. Benjamin Talks False Accusations and Budgets

New York State Senator (D, 30th district) Brian Benjamin talks about a new bill he introduced this week that would criminalize falsely reporting someone to the police, inspired by the incident in Central Park where a white woman falsely reported a black man was threatening her life. Plus, his "Rainy Day Fund" budget legislation he introduced and the city's current budget troubles.