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The New Yorker: Politics and More


A weekly discussion about politics, hosted by The New Yorker's executive editor, Dorothy Wickenden.

A weekly discussion about politics, hosted by The New Yorker's executive editor, Dorothy Wickenden.


New York, NY


A weekly discussion about politics, hosted by The New Yorker's executive editor, Dorothy Wickenden.






4 Times Square New York, NY 10036


A Good Week for the Climate Movement

This week, the Supreme Court rejected the Trump Administration’s request to expand construction on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, and the climate change task force formed by Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders urged politicians to "treat climate change like the emergency that it is." Bill McKibben, an activist in the environmental movement for three decades, joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss whether the United States has hit a turning point in the battle against global warming.


Hasan Minhaj on Being His Ancestors’ Wildest Dreams

Hasan Minhaj, a comedian and political commentator, is the host of Nexflix’s “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj.” His show—which has won both an Emmy and a Peabody—has frequently gone viral. Last year, Minhaj became a household name when he testified before Congress on the weight of student loan debt. He spoke with Carrie Battan at the 2019 New Yorker Festival about how he got invited to Washington, developing his specific brand of writing while working as a correspondent on “The Daily Show,”...


Keeping Released Prisoners Safe and Sane

Starting this spring, many states began releasing some inmates from prisons and jails to try to reduce the spread of COVID-19. But a huge number of incarcerated people are mentally ill or addicted to drugs, or sometimes both. When those people are released, they may lose their only consistent access to treatment. Marianne McCune, a reporter for WNYC, spent weeks following a psychiatrist and a social worker as they tried to locate and then help some recently released patients at a time of...


At the Supreme Court: A Big Day for DACA, and a Bad Day for Trump

This week, in a 5–4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled unlawful the Trump Administration’s decision to cancel the DACA program. DACA protects from deportation some seven hundred thousand undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. Though DACA and the “Dreamers” that it protects have widespread public support, the Trump Administration remains hostile to the program. Jonathan Blitzer joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss DACA’s big day in court, and the Trump...


Masha Gessen on Recognizing an Autocrat

In the past month, President Trump has cleared peaceful demonstrations with tear gas, told governors to “dominate” protesters, and threatened to invoke the Insurrection Act. The staff writer Masha Gessen argues that transgressions like these are signs that the President’s mind-set is fundamentally not democratic but autocratic. “Polarization and violence and high anxiety are all things that benefit an autocrat,” they warn David Remnick. Gessen’s new book, “Surviving Autocracy,” draws on...


Arkansas Prisoners Organize Against Unchecked Racism and the Coronavirus

The Cummins Unit, a penitentiary in southeastern Arkansas, opened in 1902. Designed as a prison for black men, its rigid hierarchy and system of unpaid labor have been likened to slavery. The population at Cummins, still overwhelmingly black, has been devastated by the coronavirus—the prison has the tenth-largest outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.Rachel Aviv joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss what incarcerated men in Cummins told her about their study group, called the Think Tank; about...


Running for Office During a Pandemic

The need for social distancing has upended most of the ways that candidates have traditionally put themselves before voters: gathering crowds, shaking hands, kissing babies. Eric Lach has been following the race in New York’s Seventeenth Congressional District to learn how Facebook Live, e-mail newsletters, and Zoombombs are shaping the race. “There’s no question that people are in pain, and they’re worried and they’re distracted,” Allison Fine, a candidate with a background in digital...


Protests Against Police Brutality and Systemic Racism Push Trump and the G.O.P. to a Breaking Point

During Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, mainstream Republicans expressed disgust with his divisive rhetoric, but once he became President, they fell in line behind him. The protests in the wake of the murder of George Floyd have created a moment of reckoning for the Republican Party. In recent weeks, several senators and former members of the Trump Administration have spoken out against the President, including his onetime Defense Secretary, James Mattis, who accused him of making “a mockery of...


A Former D.O.J. Official on How to Fix Policing

Ron Davis was a cop for almost thirty years, first as an officer with the Oakland P.D., then as the chief of police of East Palo Alto, California. In 2013, he joined President Barack Obama's Department of Justice to direct initiatives on policing reform. He investigated the police response to the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, after the killing of Michael Brown. Davis tells Jelani Cobb that police violence in black communities is built into the structure of policing. “I think the system is...


The Killing of George Floyd and the Origins of American Racism

The killing of George Floyd has inspired a renewed public reckoning with America’s legacy of racism. Racial prejudice is so ingrained in the origins of the country, and so pervasive in all of our institutions, that its insidious effects on all of us can be hard to grasp. The anti-racism trainer Suzanne Plihcik joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss how the concept of white racial superiority was constructed in America, and what people can do to oppose structural racism.


A Rise in Anti-Chinese Rhetoric Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

Peter Hessler has been in one of the strictest COVID-19 lockdowns in the world: starting in January, he was quarantined with his family in Chengdu, China, presaging what life would soon look like in America. Now, as restrictions lift in China, Hessler says that the experiences of the two countries have diverged. China’s government spent the lockdown setting up systems to check people’s temperatures on a wide scale and do contact tracing when someone becomes ill. But, although China’s...


A Guide to the Economics and Politics of the Coronavirus Recovery

Just a month ago, experts were predicting that the American economy would be slow to recover from the pandemic. Unemployment remains at record highs, but, as the country begins to reopen, federal policies that have bolstered small businesses and bailed out big ones seem to have helped avoid another Great Depression. John Cassidy joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss how good news about the economy complicates Joe Biden’s campaign against Donald Trump.


To Test a Vaccine for COVID-19, Should Volunteers Risk Their Lives?

When he was eighteen, Abie Rohrig decided that he wanted to donate a kidney to save the life of a stranger who needed it. At twenty, he put his name on a list of volunteers for a human-challenge trial that would test the efficacy of a COVID-19 vaccine. A human-challenge trial for a vaccine would be nearly unprecedented: it would entail giving subjects a candidate vaccine against the virus, and then infecting them deliberately to test its efficacy. The side effects would be largely unknown,...


Could the Coronavirus Pandemic Change Iran’s Political Future?

Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamanei, has failed to cover up the extent of damage posed to the country by the coronavirus crisis. Dexter Filkins travelled to Iran in February, just as the outbreak was metastasizing. He joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss what Iranian doctors and young dissidents told him, and why people think this could be a breaking point for the generation of aging revolutionaries.


Mayors Describe the Challenge of Safely Ending Lockdown

With non-essential business starting to reopen in many states, elected officials have to make a call on a series of impossible questions: How soon is too soon? How safe is safe enough? What will the cost be, in new cases of the disease and in deaths? To get a sense of how mayors are handling the reopening of America’s cities, David Remnick spoke with Quinton Lucas, the mayor of Kansas City, Missouri; Andy Berke, of Chattanooga; and Marian Orr, of Cheyenne. They expressed frustration with...


Trump’s Day at the Supreme Court, Remote and Live-Streamed

This term, for the third time in recent U.S. history, the Court is considering just how far executive privilege extends. On Tuesday, the court heard two cases relating to President Trump’s financial records—one brought by the House of Representatives and another by the New York District Attorney Cyrus Vance. During the coronavirus pandemic, for the first time, the court is hearing oral arguments remotely, and the arguments are being live-streamed to the public. Jeffrey Toobin joins Dorothy...


Governor Gretchen Whitmer on COVID-19, Trump, and the Accusations Against Joe Biden

Michigan is the tenth-largest state by population, but it has the third-largest number of COVID-19 deaths. Governor Gretchen Whitmer enacted some of the country’s most stringent stay-at-home orders, even forbidding landscaping and fishing. Furious and sometimes armed protesters became national news. Meanwhile, Whitmer’s outspoken criticism of the Trump Administration’s efforts on behalf of the states made her a frequent target of the President. “I didn’t ask to be thrown into the national...


Loneliness, Tyranny, and the Coronavirus

Though some economies have begun reopening, many people around the world are battening down for an indefinite period of extreme social distancing. Loneliness can be a destructive force. The toll of isolation on people’s health has been well documented, but isolation can also be a potent political tool, one often wielded by autocrats and despots. Masha Gessen joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss how the pandemic is reshaping politics, for better and for worse.


The Pandemic Is Wreaking Havoc in America’s Prisons and Jails

Three months ago, Kai Wright, the host of WNYC’s the United States of Anxiety, joined David Remnick for a special episode about the effects of mass incarceration and the movement to end it. Now, as the coronavirus pandemic puts inmates in acute and disproportionate danger, that effort may be gaining new traction. Wright and Remnick reconvene to examine the COVID-19 crisis in prison and its political effects. David Remnick also speaks with Phil Murphy, the governor of New Jersey, who has...


Trump vs. the United States Postal Service

The U.S. Postal Service is a rare thing: a beloved federal agency. Mail carriers visit every household in the country, and they are the only federal employees most of us see on a regular basis. But the service has been in serious financial trouble for years, a problem exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis. The survival of the system depends on intervention from Congress, but President Trump has called the postal service “a joke,” and without congressional intervention it could be forced to...