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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2:04pm

Wed September 19, 2012
Author Interviews

Debunking The 'Myth Of The Muslim Tide'

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 6:36 am

Philippe Huguen Getty Images

The violent protests that erupted in North Africa and the Middle East over a video insulting the Prophet Muhammad were in part a reflection of conflicting values — Islamic strictures on images of the prophet versus the Western principle of respect for free speech.

But journalist Doug Saunders says that the video itself reflects a troubling current in Western political discourse — an irrational fear of Muslim communities in Europe and the United States.

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2:04pm

Wed September 19, 2012
Music Reviews

Dwight Yoakam: Weary And Wary On '3 Pears'

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 5:06 pm

Dwight Yoakam recently released his new record, titled 3 Pears.
Courtesy of the artist

Dwight Yoakam persists in mixing genres in a way that may leave him out of the country mainstream, but puts him in a good position to make a personal album with some of his best music.

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1:35pm

Wed September 19, 2012
Book Reviews

'Life Of Objects' Tells A Cautionary WWII Fairy Tale

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 11:25 am

Knopf

Susanna Moore's latest novel, The Life of Objects, is a slim World War II saga that reads like a cautionary fairy tale: It's packed with descriptions of ornate furniture and paintings, lavish banquets, demons and diamonds. At the center of the story is a young girl bewitched by her own desire to live a larger life, a wish that's granted with grim exactitude.

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3:01pm

Tue September 18, 2012
Middle East

Journalist Examines Chaotic Fighting In Syria

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:23 pm

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad is a correspondent for The Guardian reporting for PBS Frontline.
Martin Argles/The Guardian AP

The battle in Syria is being fought by rebel fighters who lack many of the basics typically associated with warfare: helmets, a large supply of ammo, and military planning.

"I was with one fighter who had 11 bullets, and he was, like, roaming as a freelance fighter along the front line trying to pick up a fight somewhere," journalist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad tells Fresh Air contributor Dave Davies.

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1:00pm

Tue September 18, 2012
Music Reviews

Brad Mehldau: (Unlikely) Songs By Other People

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:23 pm

Brad Mehldau's latest covers project, Where Do You Start, came out Tuesday.
Michael Wilson Courtesy of the artist

At this point, there's nothing special about jazz musicians playing post-Beatles pop: It's just the new normal. But one of the trendsetters on that score was pianist Brad Mehldau and his versions of Radiohead and Nick Drake tunes. Now, Mehldau's trio has a new covers album out.

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2:08pm

Mon September 17, 2012
Books

How Obama, Roberts Interpret Laws In 'The Oath'

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 12:25 pm

Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th president of the United States on Jan. 20, 2009, in Washington.
Tim Sloan Getty Images

During his 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama ran on the platform of "change we can believe in" — but he has a different approach to the Supreme Court's interpretation of constitutional law.

"Obama is a great believer in stability — in the absence of change — when it comes to the work of the Supreme Court," Jeffrey Toobin, author and senior legal analyst for CNN, tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "He is the one trying to hold onto the older decisions, and [Chief Justice John] Roberts is the one who wants to move the court in a dramatically new direction."

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9:03am

Sat September 15, 2012
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: W. Kamau Bell, Michael Lewis

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 12:19 pm

W. Kamau Bell's new FX weekly series Totally Biased mixes standup, sketches and interviews.
Matthias Clamer

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:

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1:45pm

Fri September 14, 2012
Movies

'Chico & Rita': An Animated Film With A Cuban Beat

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 12:24 pm

Chico's story mimics the stories of many Cuban musicians who left Havana and arrived in New York City in the 1940s — a time when musicians like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie were starting to emerge.
Luna Films

This interview was originally broadcast on April 12, 2012. Fernando Trueba's Chico & Rita is now out on DVD.

The animated film Chico and Rita is set in 1940s Havana, at a time when Cuban musicians were starting to leave the country and join the jazz scene in New York. It was also a time when musical styles were fusing — and changing the Afro-Cuban jazz scene entirely.

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1:22pm

Fri September 14, 2012
Movie Reviews

'The Master': Filling A Void By Finding A Family

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 1:45 pm

Joaquin Phoenix stars as Navy veteran Freddie Quell in The Master.
Phil Bray The Weinstein Company

Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master is both feverish and glacial. The vibe is chilly, but the central character is an unholy mess — and his rage saturates every frame. He's a World War II South Pacific vet named Freddie Quell, played by Joaquin Phoenix to the hilt — the hilt above the hilt. We meet him at war's end on a tropical beach where he and other soldiers seek sexual relief atop the figure of a woman made out of sand.

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1:19pm

Fri September 14, 2012
Interviews

Going Under The 'Boardwalk' With Michael Shannon

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 2:26 pm

Michael Shannon plays federal agent Nelson Van Alden on the HBO series Boardwalk Empire. "I think inside of Van Alden is a child — that arrested child — that never really got to develop its own identity," he says.
Macall B. Polay HBO

This interview was originally broadcast on Oct. 24, 2011. The third season of Boardwalk Empire starts Sunday.

HBO's Boardwalk Empire, set in Atlantic City in the 1920s, is about organized crime in the era of Prohibition. The show stars Steve Buscemi as Nucky Thompson, an Atlantic City politician who sees the coming of Prohibition as an opportunity to make even more money from illegal activities and kickbacks.

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2:58pm

Thu September 13, 2012
Television

New Shows Hit Average In Fall TV Lineup

Mamie Gummer stars as the title character in Emily Owens, M.D., the best new show on broadcast television this fall.
Jack Rowand The CW

Last year, the broadcast networks didn't do well at all when it came to new series development. We got ABC's clever Once Upon a Time, which was about it for the fall crop, until midseason perked things up with NBC's Smash. Otherwise, a year ago, all the exciting new fall series were on cable, thanks to Showtime's brilliant Homeland and FX's audacious American Horror Story.

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2:04pm

Thu September 13, 2012
Television

'Totally Biased' Comic On Race, Politics And Audience

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 5:03 pm

W. Kamau Bell's new FX weekly series Totally Biased mixes standup, sketches and interviews.
Matthias Clamer

Before comic W. Kamau Bell became host of the new weekly political humor show Totally Biased, which mixes standup, sketches and interviews, he had a one-man show called The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour.

"If you bring a friend of a different race, you get in 2 for 1," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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2:02pm

Wed September 12, 2012
Book Reviews

'The Scientists': A Father's Lie And A Family's Legacy

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 3:20 pm

Every New York story ever written or filmed falls into one of two categories. The first — like Betty Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, or the musical On the Town — regards New York as the representative American city, a jam-packed distillation of the country's dreams and nightmares. The second group views New York as a foreign place — a city off the coast of the U.S. mainland that somehow drifted away from Paris or Mars. Think every Manhattan movie ever made by Woody Allen.

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2:00pm

Wed September 12, 2012
Politics

Michael Lewis Studies 'Obama's Way'

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 4:05 pm

Contributing editor Michael Lewis played basketball with President Obama while working on a piece for Vanity Fair.
Pete Souza The White House

Author Michael Lewis made a radical request to the White House that he says he was almost certain would be denied: He wanted to write a piece about President Obama that would put the reader in the president's shoes.

To do this, the Vanity Fair contributing editor would need inside access. So what did he propose?

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2:49pm

Tue September 11, 2012
Animals

New Center Trains Detection Dogs To Save Lives

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 3:27 pm

Eleven-week-old 11-week-old Bretagne is beginning her training as a detection dog at the Penn Vet Working Dog Center, which opens Tuesday. Click here to see photos of Bretagne at the mic during her Fresh Air interview.
Sarah Griffith

A detection dog-training center opens Tuesday, on the anniversary of Sept. 11, at the University of Pennsylvania so scientists can train dogs for search-and-rescue missions — and study what helps them succeed.

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