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


The Puzzling Future of Child Care and School Reopenings

Brigid Schulte, director of the Better Life Lab and author of Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play when No One has the Time, and New York City Council Member Brad Lander (39th district in Brooklyn) discuss the school and child care puzzle that New York faces.


Police Still Respond to Mental Health Crisis 911 Calls. Advocates See Another Way

Carla Rabinowitz, advocacy coordinator for Community Access, and Ruth Lowenkron, director of the Disability Justice Program at NYLPI, talk about alternatives to police intervention for people experiencing mental health crises.


Restaurant Employees Weigh In on Outdoor Dining

Outdoor restaurant dining is now allowed all over the tri-state region. Restaurant employees call in to talk about how it's going so far - including whether they feel safe, whether patrons are complying with mask rules and more.


Whose Free Speech Is It Anyway?

A letter in Harper's Magazine argues that social media public shamings hamper free speech. Claire Potter, professor of history at The New School, and the executive editor of Public Seminar, a digital magazine of politics and culture based at The New School, signed the letter, and Malaika Jabali, writer, activist and attorney, signed a response letter that argued the original letter “does not deal with the problem of power.”


Local News and Democracy

Margaret Sullivan, The Washington Post's media columnist and the author of Ghosting the News: Local Journalism and the Crisis of American Democracy (Columbia Global Reports, 2020), talks about the larger implications of a lack of local news coverage and the impact on government accountability, tax spending and community development.


COVID Update: Travel Quarantines, Schools, and Testing

Dr. Leana Wen, emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University, contributing columnist for The Washington Post, and Baltimore's former Health Commissioner, talks about the rise in Covid-19 cases, including the surge in Florida; quarantining travelers coming to New York, and more.


Your Pandemic Wedding

They say rain on your wedding day is good luck, but what about a pandemic? Brian takes calls from those unlucky couples who had to change, cancel or postpone their weddings, and those of you who went through with it anyway.


The 'Cure Violence' Model of Public Safety

All communities want to be free from violence, but that doesn't mean all communities want more police. Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research & Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and Shadoe Tarver, associate director of safety at Save Our Streets, Bed-Stuy, talk about community based models for public safety. Plus Jessica Mofield, executive director of the NYC Mayor's Office to Prevent Gun Violence, explains how the city is working with Cure Violence groups to reduce...


Washington's New NFL Team Name, SCOTUS, COVID and Voting in Indian Country

Nick Martin, staff writer for The New Republic and a member of the Sappony tribe, talks about the Supreme Court decision acknowledging tribal jurisdiction over much of eastern Oklahoma, a name change in the NFL, how Indian Country is faring with the pandemic, and how vote-by-mail would work on reservations.


Could NYC Finally Become A Biking City?

Michael Kimmelman, architecture critic of The New York Times, argues that with all that's horrible about the pandemic, there is a potential bright spot: New York City officials could finally take biking, and bike safety, seriously. @BrianLehrer It's worth noting that what this city calls "protected bike lanes" are hardly protected. Parked cars are lousy protection. It often amounts to extra parking, storage space for unloading delivery vehicles, space pedestrians decide to chill in.. Not...


Apartment Hunting in a Pandemic

Eddie Small, senior real estate reporter for Crain's New York Business, talks about whether COVID-19 has made renting any less expensive in New York City, and take calls from listeners on the experience of renting right now.


When You Can't Pay Rent

Caroline Spivack, Curbed NY reporter, discusses how so many people are struggling to pay rent right now, and how much longer the pause on evictions will last in New York State.


Monday Morning Politics: Biden's Veep-stakes, Trump's Polls, and the Electoral Map

Perry Bacon Jr., senior writer for FiveThirtyEight, talks about the political headlines from over the weekend.


Composting Now

With curbside organic waste pick-up over, what are the composting options for apartment dwellers? Christiné Datz-Romero, executive director of the Lower East Side Ecology Center, reviews the options.


Ask the Mayor: Schools Reopening, Police Oversight, More

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio takes calls from listeners and discusses this week in NYC, including his new proposal for a partial in-person learning model in which students would attend school on site part of the week and attend remote learning on the other days of the week, plus the NYS AG's proposal for police oversight. “idiotic,” de Blasio tells @BrianLehrer of analysis that he is afraid of police unions. Mayor says sometimes he sees the political discourse in this town & just...


The State of Business in NY and NJ

Greg David, contributor covering fiscal economic issues for THE CITY and director of the business and economics and Ravitch Fiscal Reporting Program at the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, and Daniel Munoz, politics, government and economic development reporter for NJBIZ, discuss the various states of businesses in New York and New Jersey, including recent lawsuits from the movie theater and gym industries, as well as the latest unemployment numbers.


The Stakes of Remote College for International Students

Nicole Agu, vice chair for international student affairs University Student Senate of CUNY, and Dan Berger, partner at Curran, Berger & Kludt, specializing in academic immigration, discuss the response to a new ICE policy requiring international college students in the U.S. to attend in person classes in the fall in order to remain in the country.


A History of Alt-Media and Political Junkyism

Claire Potter, professor of history at the New School and executive editor of Public Seminar, talks about her new book, Political Junkies: From Talk Radio to Twitter, How Alternative Media Hooked Us on Politics and Broke Our Democracy (Basic Books, 2020).


All The President's Tax Returns

On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that while a sitting president does not need a subpoena to meet a special standard, Congress can only get access to President Donald Trump's tax returns and other business records if they complete a four-factor test in the lower courts. Andrea Bernstein, WNYC senior editor, co-host of WNYC's and ProPublica's podcast Trump Inc., and the author of American Oligarchs: The Kushners, The Trumps, and the Marriage of Money and Power (W.W. Norton and Company,...


N.Y.C. Schools Will Not Fully Reopen in Fall

Elizabeth Kim, senior editor for Gothamist, and Sophia Chang, reporter for Gothamist, talk about the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic in New York.