The Political Scene | The New Yorker

WNYC Studios and The New Yorker

The Political Scene | The New Yorker

  • 31 minutes 40 seconds
    Sam Altman Dreams of an A.I. Girlfriend

    Kyle Chayka, a New Yorker staff writer and the author of the Infinite Scroll column, joins Tyler Foggatt to discuss the latest ChatGPT release—which uses a voice that sounds, suspiciously, like Scarlett Johansson’s character in the dystopian sci-fi movie “Her.” Chayka has reported extensively on artificial intelligence, and he describes some recent blunders that tech companies, including OpenAI and Google, have made in trying to push their products through.

    This week’s reading:

    To discover more podcasts from The New Yorker, visit newyorker.com/podcasts. To send feedback on this episode, write to [email protected].

    29 May 2024, 8:15 pm
  • 26 minutes 36 seconds
    How the Reality-TV Industry Mistreats Its Stars

    On the reality-TV dating show “Love Is Blind,” the most watched original series in Netflix history, contestants are alone in windowless, octagonal pods with no access to their phones or the Internet. They talk to each other through the walls. There’s intrigue, romance, heartbreak, and, in some cases, sight-unseen engagements. According to several lawsuits, there’s also lack of sleep, lack of food and water, twenty-hour work days, and alleged physical and emotional abuse. The New Yorker staff writer Emily Nussbaum has been reporting on what these lawsuits reveal about the culture on the set of “Love Is Blind,” and a push for a new union to give reality-TV stars employee protections and rights. “The people who are on reality shows are a vulnerable class of people who are mistreated by the industry in ways that are made invisible to people, including to fans who love the shows,” Nussbaum tells David Remnick. Nussbaum’s forthcoming book is “Cue the Sun! The Invention of Reality TV.”

    27 May 2024, 10:00 am
  • 32 minutes 58 seconds
    Why Vladimir Putin’s Family Is Learning Mandarin

    The Washington Roundtable: Susan B. Glasser, Jane Mayer, and Evan Osnos discuss why global events—such as the death of Iran’s president, a recent meeting between Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, and the worsening situation for Ukraine—should not be overlooked in favor of domestic issues during the 2024 campaign.


    This week’s reading:


    To discover more podcasts from The New Yorker, visit newyorker.com/podcasts. To send in feedback on this episode, write to [email protected] with “The Political Scene” in the subject line.

    25 May 2024, 12:30 am
  • 28 minutes 55 seconds
    Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., on Why He’s Running

    Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who has never held elected office but is related to many people who have, is emerging as a potential threat to Democrats and Republicans in the 2024 Presidential race. “There’s nothing in the United States Constitution that says that you have to go to Congress first and, then, Senate second, or be a governor before you’re elected to the Presidency,”  he told David Remnick, in July, when he was running as a Democrat. Now, as a third-party Presidential candidate, his numbers have grown in the polls—enough to push votes away from both Biden and Trump in November, especially, it seems, among younger voters. Besides his name, the seventy-year-old environmental lawyer is known as an anti-vaccine activist and a proponent of conspiracy theories. 

    This election season, we’re eager to hear from you. What questions do you have? Let us know at: [email protected]

    This interview originally aired on the New Yorker Radio Hour on July 7, 2023.

    20 May 2024, 10:00 am
  • 35 minutes 47 seconds
    The Most Profoundly Not-Normal Facts About Trump’s 2024 Campaign

    The Washington Roundtable: Susan B. Glasser, Jane Mayer, and Evan Osnos discuss  the unusual and dangerous aspects of Donald Trump’s reëlection campaign, from his quid-pro-quo offer to oil executives to his daughter-in-law’s new leadership position in the Republican National Committee.

    This week’s reading:

    To discover more podcasts from The New Yorker, visit newyorker.com/podcasts. To send in feedback on this episode, write to [email protected] with “The Political Scene” in the subject line.

    18 May 2024, 1:35 am
  • 29 minutes 38 seconds
    Stormy Daniels’s Biggest Role Yet

    Naomi Fry, a staff writer and co-host of the New Yorker podcast Critics at Large, joins Tyler Foggatt to discuss her impressions of Stormy Daniels’s testimony in the hush-money trial of former President Donald Trump. Having spent weeks doing a deep dive on the adult-film star’s life, Fry explains her understanding of Daniels’s motivations in accepting the hush money and what the sordid tale says about American culture today.
    This week’s reading:


    To discover more podcasts from The New Yorker, visit newyorker.com/podcasts. To send feedback on this episode, write to [email protected].

    16 May 2024, 1:30 am
  • 20 minutes 41 seconds
    The TikTok Ban Is “a Vast Overreach, Rooted in Hypocrisy,” Wired’s Katie Drummond says

    David Remnick talks with Katie Drummond, the global editorial director of Wired magazine, about the TikTok ban that just passed with bipartisan support in Washington. The app will be removed from distribution in U.S. app stores unless ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, sells it to an approved buyer. TikTok is suing to block that law. Is this a battle among tech giants for dominance, or a real issue of national security? Drummond sees the ban as a corporate crusade by Silicon Valley to suppress a foreign competitor with a superior product. She finds the claim that TikTok is a national-security threat to be “a vast overreach that is rooted in hypotheticals and that is rooted in hypocrisy, and in … a fundamental refusal to look across the broad spectrum of social-media platforms, and treat all of them from a regulatory point of view with the same level of care and precision.”  

    For another perspective on the TikTok ban, listen to David Remnick’s conversation with the tech executive Jacob Helberg, who lobbied lawmakers to pass it. The segment will publish on the New Yorker Radio Hour feed on Tuesday.


    13 May 2024, 10:00 am
  • 37 minutes 4 seconds
    Will Young Americans Tip November’s Election?

    The Washington Roundtable: Susan B. Glasser, Jane Mayer, and Evan Osnos discuss the campus protests against Israel’s war in Gaza and the potentially decisive role that the youth vote will play in the Presidential election. Cyrus Beschloss, the C.E.O. of The Generation Lab, a company that studies trends among young people, joins the show to break down the latest polling data. 

    This week’s reading:


    To discover more podcasts from The New Yorker, visit newyorker.com/podcasts. To send in feedback on this episode, write to [email protected] with “The Political Scene” in the subject line.

    11 May 2024, 2:45 am
  • 33 minutes 46 seconds
    The Pure Chaos Inside Donald Trump’s Criminal Trial

    The New Yorker staff writer Eric Lach joins Tyler Foggatt to share a firsthand account of the bizarre stories coming out of the first-ever criminal trial of a former U.S. President. Lach explains why the former publisher of the National Enquirer testified about catch-and-kill schemes involving celebrities like Tiger Woods and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and describes Trump’s real-time reaction as adult-film star Stormy Daniels testified in lurid detail about the alleged affair at the heart of the prosecution’s case. 

    This week’s reading:

    To discover more podcasts from The New Yorker, visit newyorker.com/podcasts. To send feedback on this episode, write to [email protected].

    9 May 2024, 12:25 am
  • 15 minutes 32 seconds
    Randall Kennedy on Harvard Protests, Antisemitism, and the Meaning of Free Speech

    In December, the presidents of three universities were summoned to Congress for hearings about whether a climate of antisemitism exists on campuses. Politicians like Elise Stefanik made headlines, and two of the presidents, including Harvard’s Claudine Gay, were soon out of their posts. The Harvard law professor Randall Kennedy wrote an essay for the London Review of Books about the reverberations of those events. “Folks were out to get Claudine Gay from the get-go,” he thinks, “and were going to use any openings with which to do that”—for reasons that had little to do with protecting Jews. Kennedy tells David Remnick about a lawsuit against Harvard that would equate opposition to Zionism with antisemitism, and render a range of thinkers (including many Jews) unteachable. And “this,” Kennedy asserts, “is very dangerous.” 


    This segment is part of the New Yorker Radio Hour’s episode devoted to the protests and the speech issues that college campuses have raised.

    6 May 2024, 10:00 am
  • 30 minutes 53 seconds
    Who Should Be More Worried about Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.– Biden or Trump?

    The Washington Roundtable: Susan B. Glasser, Jane Mayer, and Evan Osnos discuss the Presidential candidacy of the anti-vaccine activist and conspiracy theorist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and explore the ways his run for the White House as an independent might spoil the election for either Joe Biden or Donald Trump. 

    “He’s not a serious threat in terms of being able to win,” says Jane Mayer, “but he is potentially a serious threat in being able to spoil this election for one side or the other.”

    This week’s reading:

    To discover more podcasts from The New Yorker, visit newyorker.com/podcasts. To send in feedback on this episode, write to [email protected] with “The Political Scene” in the subject line.

    4 May 2024, 2:00 am
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