Fresh Air

M-Th 7p
  • Hosted by Terry Gross

Opening the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics.

Fresh Air's Terry Gross
Credit Will Ryan

Terry Gross hosts this multi-award-winning daily interview and features program. The veteran public radio interviewer is known for her extraordinary ability to engage guests of all dispositions.

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:

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, in for Terry Gross. We're continuing our salute to some of this year's Emmy Award nominees by featuring group RuPaul, who is up for two Emmys as host and executive producer of "RuPaul's Drag Race" on VH1. He won in both categories last year. RuPaul became the most famous drag queen in the world after bringing drag into the mainstream with his reality competition series. It premiered in 2009 and completed its 12th season on VH1 this May. The series is now televised and popular in countries around the world.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. The Primetime Emmy Awards are September 20. Today and tomorrow, we're featuring interviews with some of the nominees. Next, we'll hear from Ramy Youssef. He's nominated for two Emmys for the second season of his semi-autobiographical Hulu comedy series "Ramy" for outstanding lead actor and for directing. Youssef is a stand-up comic who often surprises people when he tells them he believes in God - or as he puts it, God God, not yoga.

Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt says one of the most unusual aspects of the White House administration is the existence of people who are trying to stop President Trump from acting in a way that could hurt the country or break the law.

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

The COVID-19 pandemic has shuttered schools and businesses and altered life across the globe, but journalist Alexis Madrigal says comprehensive, rapid testing might be the key to a safe reopening.

"The key problem in the pandemic is we don't know who's contagious," Madrigal says. "And because of that, it is very hard to really grind transmission down to nothing."

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies.

CNN correspondent Brian Stelter says President Trump's "cozy" relationship with Fox News is "like nothing we've seen in American history."

In his new book, Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth, Stelter describes the president as a "shadow producer" to Fox News host Sean Hannity — who, in turn, acts as a "shadow chief of staff" for Trump.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

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:

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross. As debates rage about voting access in the November election, we're going to recall another time, more than a half century ago, when securing ballot access could be a life-or-death matter. Right now PBS is streaming the documentary "Freedom Summer" about the movement in 1964 to open the polls to African Americans in Mississippi in an era of entrenched segregation.

The writer and director Michael Almereyda is making some of the most thoughtful and inventive biographical dramas of any filmmaker working today.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Back in the heyday of Detroit — from the Great Depression through the 1950s — Joseph "Ziggy" Johnson knew just about everybody who was worth knowing in the shops, bars, churches, theaters and nightclubs that lined the streets of that city's celebrated Black neighborhood, called "Black Bottom."

When the U.S military dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, the American government portrayed the weapons as equivalent to large conventional bombs — and dismissed Japanese reports of radiation sickness as propaganda.

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

The U.S. and Iran have had contentious relations ever since the Iranian Revolution in the late 1970s overthrowing the shah, and the subsequent hostage crisis — in which militants held 52 U.S. citizens for more than a year. Decades of scenes showing mobs burning the U.S. flag on the streets of Tehran have led many Americans to wonder why people in such a faraway country are so angry with the United States.

For an answer, you couldn't do better than to start with Coup 53, an exhilarating new historical documentary that unfolds with the pace and complexity of a thriller.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

(SOUNDBITE OF JAMES CARNEY SEXTET'S "MAYOR OF MARCELLUS")

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in today for Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOCUMENTARY, "IMMIGRATION NATION")

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:

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

I'm David Bianculli, editor of the website TV Worth Watching, sitting in for Terry Gross. Today's guest is Sister Helen Prejean, whose latest memoir, "River Of Fire," comes out in paperback this month.

You may know her and her story from her previous memoir, which was titled "Dead Man Walking." That book told how she became an activist against the death penalty. It was adapted into a film of the same name in 1995, starring Susan Sarandon.

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