Fresh Air on WUTC

Weekdays, Noon - 1pm
Terry Gross

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Each week, nearly 4.5 million people listen to the show's intimate conversations broadcast on more than 450 National Public Radio (NPR) stations across the country, as well as in Europe on the World Radio Network.

Though Fresh Air has been categorized as a "talk show," it hardly fits the mold. Its 1994 Peabody Award citation credits Fresh Air with "probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insights." And a variety of top publications count Gross among the country's leading interviewers. The show gives interviews as much time as needed, and complements them with comments from well-known critics and commentators.

Fresh Air is produced at WHYY-FM in Philadelphia and broadcast nationally by NPR.

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3:33pm

Wed September 5, 2012
Economy

Journalist Evaluates Obama, Romney Economic Plans

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 5:39 pm

David Leonhardt, the Washington bureau chief of The New York Times, won a Pulitzer Prize last year for his columns about the economy.
Earl Wilson The New York Times

On Monday, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan told a campaign rally audience in North Carolina that "the president can say a lot of things, but he can't tell you you are better off." Later that day in Detroit, Vice President Joe Biden responded "America is better off today than they left us."

New York Times Washington bureau chief David Leonhardt argues that both Ryan and Biden are right: It's partly semantics.

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3:33pm

Wed September 5, 2012
Book Reviews

Was Zadie Smith's Novel 'NW' Worth The Wait?

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 3:37 pm

British author Zadie Smith in 2005.
Sergio Dionisio AP

Zadie Smith wrote her last novel On Beauty seven years ago — a long time in the anxious world of publishing. Her new novel NW was released in the U.S. on Monday. Critic Maureen Corrigan asks: Was it worth the wait?

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

2:15pm

Tue September 4, 2012
Author Interviews

Mickey Edwards On Democracy's 'Cancer'

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 2:48 pm

Mickey Edwards served as a Republican congressman for Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District from 1977 to 1993.
Gia Regan Yale University Press

In his 16 years in Congress, Republican Mickey Edwards came to a strong conclusion: Political parties are the "cancer at the heart of our democracy," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

In his new book, The Parties Versus the People, the former Republican congressman from Oklahoma details how party leaders have too much control over who runs for office, what bills make it to the floor and how lawmakers vote.

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1:39pm

Tue September 4, 2012
Author Interviews

Conservation Biologist Explains Why 'Feathers' Matter

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 2:11 pm

Thor Hanson's own cast of Archaeopteryx lithographica presents what he calls the "ancient wing written in stone."
Thor Hanson Basic Books

It was the absence of feathers that got conservation biologist Thor Hanson thinking about the significance of them. Hanson was in Kenya studying the feeding habits of vultures, and he noticed the advantages that vultures had relative to other birds because of their bare, featherless heads.

"Having lost their feathers allows [vultures] to remain much cleaner and more free from bacteria and parasites and disease," Hanson tells Fresh Air contributor Dave Davies.

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12:38pm

Tue September 4, 2012
Music Reviews

When Ian Hunter Is 'President'

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 3:54 pm

Ian Hunter once is at once crafty and mindful of craft, striving mightily to make his music seem tossed off.
Ross Halfin

Recently, I was listening to a new tribute album covering the songs of Fleetwood Mac, and thought once again how dreadful most tribute albums are: They don't add much to the legacy of the artists being saluted, while inadvertently freezing vital old music in an amber of sentimentality. Then I turned to When I'm President, an album of new songs by Ian Hunter.

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12:03pm

Mon September 3, 2012
Music Reviews

Miguel Zenon And Laurent Coq Play 'Hopscotch'

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 2:57 pm

Miguel Zenon.
Courtesy of the artist

The new quartet album by alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón and pianist Laurent Coq is called Rayuela, which means "hopscotch." It's named for Julio Cortázar's novel, the fragmented tale of a wandering bohemian and his social circles in Parisian exile, as well as back home in Buenos Aires.

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12:03pm

Mon September 3, 2012
Interviews

Joan Rivers Hates You, Herself And Everyone Else

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 2:57 pm

Joan Rivers says her material has only gotten stronger with age. "I always say, 'What are you going to do? Are you going to fire me? Been fired. Going to be bankrupt? Been bankrupt.'"
Courtesy of the author

9:03am

Sat September 1, 2012
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Regina Spektor, Victor LaValle

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 12:08 pm

"To me, the voice is an instrument, just like any other instrument," Regina Spektor says.
Shervin Lainez

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Regina Spektor: On Growing Up A 'Soviet Kid': The singer spent the first nine years of her life in the Soviet Union, where she and her family faced discrimination as Jews. She talks about Russia and her new album, What We Saw From the Cheap Seats.

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11:31am

Fri August 31, 2012
Music Reviews

Shoes: After 18 Years, The Power-Pop Band Re-Ignites

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 4:16 pm

Shoes.
Courtesy of the artist

11:31am

Fri August 31, 2012
Movie Interviews

Jack Black: On Music, Mayhem And Murder

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 4:16 pm

In Bernie, Jack Black plays a local mortician who murders his live-in companion after she won't stop nagging him. The movie is based on a true story.
Deana Newcomb Wind Dancer Films

This interview was originally broadcast on April 23, 2012. Jack Black's Bernie is now out on DVD.

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12:14pm

Thu August 30, 2012
Performing Arts

David Alan Grier's 'Sporting Life' On Broadway

In Porgy and Bess, David Alan Grier plays the drug dealer Sporting Life, a role closely associated with Sammy Davis Jr. and Cab Calloway.
Courtesy of the American Repertory Theater

This interview was originally broadcast on May 22, 2012. David Alan Grier plays Sporting Life in the opera Porgy and Bess, which closes on Broadway next month. Porgy and Bess won two Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical.

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12:13pm

Thu August 30, 2012
Performing Arts

Audra McDonald: Shaping 'Bess' On Broadway

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 1:46 pm

Audra McDonald plays Bess in the current Broadway production of Porgy and Bess.
Michael J. Lutch Courtesy of the American Repertory Theater

This interview was originally broadcast on May 15, 2012. Audra McDonald plays Bess in the opera Porgy and Bess, which closes on Broadway next month. Porgy and Bess won two Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical.

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2:08pm

Wed August 29, 2012
Author Interviews

A Linguist's Serious Take On 'The A-Word'

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 2:04 pm

Linguist Geoffrey Nunberg says he wants people to take his new book, Ascent of the A-Word, seriously.
Nicole Katano

Linguist Geoffrey Nunberg wants people to take his new book, Ascent of the A-Word, seriously.

"I'd meet people when I was working on the book, and even academics — they'd say, 'What are you working on?' and they'd giggle. Or they'd say, 'You must have a lot of time on your hands,' " Nunberg tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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12:40pm

Wed August 29, 2012
Author Interviews

Victor LaValle On Mental Illness, Monsters And Survival

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 1:58 pm

Victor LaValle is also the author of Slapboxing with Jesus, The Ecstatic and Big Machine.
E. Robateu Random House

In Victor LaValle's new novel, The Devil in Silver, a man is mistakenly committed to a mental hospital where a buffalo-headed monster stalks patients at night.

The plausibility of a monster roaming the hospital's halls made sense, says LaValle, who has a personal connection to the mentally ill.

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2:34pm

Tue August 28, 2012
Author Interviews

'Real Romney' Authors Dissect His Latest Campaign

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 12:17 pm

Michael Kranish (left) is the deputy chief of the Washington bureau of The Boston Globe. Scott Helman is a staff writer at The Globe. Both have covered politics, presidential campaigns and Congress.
courtesy of the authors

In The Real Romney, Boston Globe reporters Michael Kranish and Scott Helman examine Mitt Romney's political rise since 1994, when he ran for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts. They explain how Romney shifted from supporting abortion rights to heavily courting social conservatives in the 2008 Republican primary.

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