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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


Love in the Time of COVID

Dating is hard. Dating during a pandemic? Well, it's hard and complicated. We open the phone lines to hear how New Yorkers are (or aren't) dating using online platforms with Lane Moore, comedian, creator of the Tinder Live comedy show, and author of How to Be Alone: If You Want To, and Even If You Don't (Atria Books, 2018).


#AskTheMayor: Justice for George Floyd

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio takes calls from listeners and discusses this week in NYC. How can he justify not firing Pantaleo and NYPD's acts of violence on Union Square yesterday when he said what happened in Minnesota was unacceptable? I believe a huge part of our dissatisfaction is that he seems to be all talk, no or contradictory action. May 29, 2020 What's the @NYCMayor doing to ensure "open streets" are actually open & safe for pedestrians & bike riders? I live on one of...


David Brooks on Second Acts

David Brooks, columnist for the New York Times and the author of The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life (Random House, 2019), now out in paperback, talks about his book which examines the lives of people who respond to a crisis by shifting their priorities from themselves to their communities, newly relevant during the COVID-19 crisis, plus offers his take on the national news.


State Sen. Benjamin Talks False Accusations and Budgets

New York State Senator (D, 30th district) Brian Benjamin talks about a new bill he introduced this week that would criminalize falsely reporting someone to the police, inspired by the incident in Central Park where a white woman falsely reported a black man was threatening her life. Plus, his "Rainy Day Fund" budget legislation he introduced and the city's current budget troubles.


Pro Sports Plan a Comeback

Professional sports leagues are busy planning how to salvage their current seasons that were derailed by the coronavirus pandemic. Jane McManus, director of Marist's Center for Sports Communication and New York Daily News sports columnist, talks about what's on deck, whether it's safe and all the other considerations the leagues are dealing with.


Reentry During COVID-19

The Fortune Society president and CEO JoAnne Page talks about the challenges of prison reentry during the shutdown and how to access services. →The Fortune Society


Are You Paying Rent?

Another month, another rent deadline. Your calls if you are unable to pay rent, if you're on a COVID-19 rent strike, or if you're a landlord receiving less than you're owed The @BrianLehrer is talking about Rent Forgiveness on 93.9 FM @WNYC We're hosting a Town Hall on Rent Forgiveness at 1pm today.#saveourspaces May 28, 2020


"Ballot Harvesting" Explained

Amber Phillips, reporter at the Washington Post's The Fix, explains ballot "collecting" and why President Trump points to the practice as grounds to resist expanding vote-by-mail.


Your Re-opening Anxieties

For so long we've been told to isolate, and stay inside if we can. As states move to reopen, it's only natural to feel some anxiety about leaving the house. George Bonanno, Professor of Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and author of The Other Side of Sadness: What the New Science of Bereavement Tells Us About Life After Loss takes your calls on feeling anxious about going back to work, and expanding your circle.


Pres. Trump and American Democracy

David Frum, Atlantic staff writer, former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, and the author of Trumpocalypse: Restoring American Democracy (Harper 2020), offers his take on the president's leadership in this crisis and in general. Event: "P&P Live with David Frum," Wednesday May 27th, 8 PM


A Harm Reduction Model for COVID-19

All 50 states are now in various stages of reopening. Dr. Leana Wen , emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University, contributing columnist for The Washington Post, and former Baltimore Health Commissioner, argues that the United States needs to move to the public health strategy of harm reduction.


How Schools are Exploring Safely Reopening

Schools are trying to figure out how they'll be able to reopen safely. Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, talks about what school might look like in the fall.


The Latest COVID-19 News

Dr. Howard Koh, professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and former assistant secretary for health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2009-2014), talks about the latest COVID-19 news.


NYS Legislature Back at Work

Robert Jackson, NYS Senator (D 31st, West & Upper Manhattan), talks about the return to session for the legislature, plus his recent hearing on COVID-19's disparate impact on minorities.


Reimagining Education Post-COVID

Earlier this month, Governor Cuomo appointed an advisory panel to “reimagine education.” Noliwe Rooks, professor of literature and of Africana Studies, as well as the director of American Studies, at Cornell University and the author of Cutting School: Privatization, Segregation, and the End of Public Education (The New Press, 2017) talks about her concerns for what should, and shouldn't change and Jessica Gould, WNYC reporter, shares what she's heard from teachers, parents and students.


The President's RNC Threats

Politico reporter Alex Isenstadt talks about President Trump's threats to move the Republican National Convention from North Carolina if the governor can't guarantee the event will be able to move forward at full capacity.


National Politics with Senator Booker

U.S. Senator (D, NJ), Cory Booker, talks about the latest national political news.


Together Separately for Eid al-Fitr

This weekend, Muslims around the world will be celebrating Eid al-Fitr which marks the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan. Kashif Shaikh, co-founder and executive director Pillars Fund, a foundation that elevates the leadership, talents and narratives of American Muslims, joins to talk about how Muslims will be celebrating while social distancing and helps break down why charity is a big part of the holiday.


Ask The Mayor: Beaches, Composting, Looking Back on Early Coronavirus Decisions

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, takes calls from listeners and discusses this week in NYC, including what's going on with city beaches this weekend, why composting in the city has been paused and he reflects on early decisions during the coronavirus crisis.


The Socially-Distanced Beach Scene

Memorial Day Weekend is when beaches in New York and on the Jersey Shore traditionally open for the summer -- but 2020 is far from normal. New York State Senator (D 9, Nassau County) and chair of the Environmental Conservation Committee, Todd Kaminsky, and New Jersey State Senator (D, 11), Vin Gopal talk about which beaches are opening and to whom, what will be allowed and how municipalities are controlling the flow of visitors to make sure beachgoers can maintain social distancing.