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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


James Baldwin for Today; MMT, Explained; Poet Elizabeth Alexander on Raising Black Sons

Three of our favorite segments from the week, in case you missed them. James Baldwin for Today (First) | MMT, Explained (Starts at 25:00) | Poet Elizabeth Alexander on Raising Black Sons (Starts at 50:00) If you don't subscribe to the Brian Lehrer Show on iTunes, you can do that here.


Is COVID-19 Changing How You Travel?

Callers tell us how they’re dealing with summer travel while coronavirus cases continue to rise across the country.


The Science of Unconscious Bias

Pragya Agarwal, behavioral scientist and the author of Sway: Unravelling Unconscious Bias (Bloomsbury Sigma, 2020), explains the neuroscience behind unintended bias and how to use it to combat it.


#PriceCheckNYC: Back to the Doctor's Office?

WNYC, in partnership with Gothamist and Clear Health Costs, offers a new community health sharing tool which will give listeners a chance to compare the costs of their medical procedures. Jeanne Pinder, founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts, and Caroline Lewis, lead reporter of PriceCheckNYC and regular contributor to Gothamist, check in on some of the new issues of the COVID-19 era, including seeking non-COVID-19 medical care. For more information, to share your story or read Caroline's...


COVID-19 Caseload Hits Record High Ahead of July 4th

Health officials are urging Americans to rethink their holiday plans as virus case levels reach new highs. Dr. Ashwin Vasan, physician, epidemiologist, and professor at Columbia and CEO of Fountain House, a community-based mental and public health organization, talks about which states are now setting single-day reporting records, and takes your calls.


Why Working From Home Might Not Work

David Streitfeld, tech reporter for the New York Times, discusses how work from home setbacks from the past inform telecommuting decisions in the future.


James Baldwin for Today

Eddie Glaude, chair of Princeton's African-American studies department and the author of Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own (Crown, 2020), talks about his new book. Event: Eddie Glaude will be in conversation with Cornel West tonight at 7pm. More info here.


Maybe the 'Toughest' NYC Budget Ever

Sally Goldenberg, City Hall bureau chief at POLITICO New York, ticks through the final details of the city budget, and takes your calls. The city and state budget desperate to do anything but make our many million and billionaires pay their fair share. July 1, 2020 Listening to what is cut in the city's budget I'm heartbroken about the composting of course, but all the cuts and shift of NYPD to DOE is just so wrong. To not think of putting more money into our children's education and the...


New Jersey Primary Preview

Nancy Solomon, managing editor for New Jersey Public Radio and WNYC, and Karen Yi, WNYC reporter covering New Jersey, talk about progressive challengers in some of New Jersey's congressional primaries, and other contentious races throughout the state.


The 'Trayvon Generation's' Trauma and Celebration

Elizabeth Alexander, poet, educator, memoirist, scholar and president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, talks about raising Black sons, and how they and their generation are coping with the trauma of watching police violence against Black people, caught on video.


Israeli Annexation of the West Bank

Yousef Munayyer, political analyst, writer and scholar and non-resident fellow at the Arab Center in Washington DC, talks about U.S. and Israeli policy when it comes to the annexation of the West Bank.


Jobs, Guaranteed

Pavlina R. Tcherneva, associate professor at Bard College and research scholar at the Levy Economics Institute and the author of The Case for a Job Guarantee, talks about the Modern Monetary Theory and why it allows for full employment at a living wage -- even now.


Slashing $1B From NYPD Budget

On the day of the budget deadline Juan Manuel Benitez, reporter at NY1 and host of PuraPolítica, discusses Mayor's and NYC City Council's plan to slash $1 billion from NYPD.


SCOTUS Update: Abortion Access Ruling, and More

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of preserving abortion access in Louisiana, with the "liberal" justices joined by Chief Justice Roberts to uphold the lower court ruling that the restrictions were not constitutional. Jami Floyd, WNYC's legal editor and host of All Things Considered, explains the ruling and what it means going forward.


What We Can Learn From Child Care Centers That Stayed Open

As summer begins, Anya Kamenetz, education correspondent at NPR, and Joseph G. Allen, assistant professor of exposure assessment science, director of the Healthy Buildings program at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and co-author of Healthy Buildings: How Indoor Spaces Drive Performance and Productivity (Harvard University Press, 2020), talk about whether schools should open in September, and look to lessons on how to do it safely from child care centers that stayed...


What Americans Don't Get About Systemic Racism

A moment at the Senate Judiciary Hearing on policing reform underscored a persistent misunderstanding about implicit bias and how it impacts American society. Eugene Scott, The Washington Post political reporter covering identity politics for The Fix, breaks it down.


Worker Protections in Phase II and Beyond

Charlene Obernauer, executive director at The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH), talks about what kind of safety precautions employers are required to put in place as more business open amid the pandemic.


Pride Parade on the Radio

This year's LGBT Pride Parade can't happen in the streets, so we're having our own on the airwaves. LGBT listeners call in with their thoughts, feelings and stories about what makes them proud to be LGBT, and Jacob Tobia, artist, producer, self-described "gender disaster" and author of Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2019) talks about pride as a process, and about getting back to the roots of Pride as protest.


Ask the Mayor: Will The City Defund the NYPD?

Bill de Blasio, New York City Mayor, takes calls from listeners and discusses this week in NYC, including the call from activists to defund the NYPD and redistribute the funds to public services.


The Disturbing COVID-19 Trends Across the Country

Natalie Dean, assistant professor of biostatistics at the University of Florida, talks about the worrying trend of COVID-19 cases in places other than the tri-state area.