Fresh Air

Weekdays at noon and midnight

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.

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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.

Last week, reports surfaced of a new videotape showing singer R. Kelly engaging in sex acts with an underage girl. This is not the first time the R&B superstar has been accused of sexual abuse. Allegations have circled Kelly for decades; in 2002, a videotape surfaced that purportedly showed Kelly engaging in sexual acts with a teenage girl.

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe says it's not normal for the bureau to open investigations into the president.

"We don't have a lot of experience with investigating presidents of the United States," McCabe says. "There is not a standard S.O.P. on the shelf that you pull down to say, 'Here's how it's done.'"

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross. American presidents like to describe the United States as a force for freedom and independence in the world. Our guest, historian Daniel Immerwahr, says there are also plenty of times in our history when we've subjugated and ruled foreign lands - sometimes with bloody conquests. Today, roughly 4 million people live in the American territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Marianas.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Jeanne Lee was one of the premiere singers of new jazz for several decades. Her duos with pianist Ran Blake first brought her to public attention. Now, some live recordings from the 1960s featuring Jeanne Lee and Ran Blake have been issued for the first time. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead has this review.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SPRING CAN REALLY HANG YOU UP THE MOST")

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:

In 1993, a 24-year-old woman named Lorena Bobbitt reacted violently to what she said was a long-term pattern of marital abuse — sexual and otherwise — by severing the penis of her husband, John Wayne Bobbitt, then driving away and tossing the remnant out her car window.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Growing up, neuroscientist Judith Grisel would take little sips of alcohol at family events, but it wasn't until she was 13 that she experienced being drunk for the first time. Everything changed.

"It was so complete and so profound," she says. "I suddenly felt less anxious, less insecure, less inept to cope with the world. Suddenly I was full and OK in a way that I had never been."

Grisel began chasing that feeling. Over the years, she struggled with alcohol, marijuana and cocaine. But along the way, she also became interested in the neuroscience of addiction.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

In his 14 years co-hosting MythBusters, Adam Savage performed experiments that fell squarely into the category of: Kids, do not try this at home! The Discovery show tested out the validity of myths, legends and movie scenes — whether that meant creating a flying guillotine, or escaping a car submerged in water.

Daughter Of A Numbers Runner Witnessed An Underground Economy In Action: Growing up, Bridgett M. Davis' mother booked and banked bets from their home in Detroit. She writes about her experience — and the role of "the numbers" in the black community — in her memoir.

Details Make The Difference In 'Everybody Knows' And 'Cold War': Cold War's richness comes from being steeped in detail. And it demonstrates what Everybody Knows does not: that the road to the universal begins with the specific.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, editor of the website TV Worth Watching, sitting in for Terry Gross. In anticipation of the upcoming Academy Awards, we'll be listening back to interviews with some of this year's Oscar contenders. We'll start with Joel and Ethan Coen, whose films include "Blood Simple," "Barton Fink," "Fargo," "O Brother, Where Art Thou?", "No Country For Old Men," "A Serious Man," "Hail, Caesar!" and "True Grit."

When people talk about art, they often argue over whether individual works can be truly universal. One who thinks they can is Asghar Farhadi, the gifted Iranian filmmaker who in recent years has won foreign film Oscars for both A Separation and The Salesman.

New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt doesn't have a badge or a gun or the ability to compel people to talk to him. Nevertheless, he has found sources to help him break major stories concerning special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into connections between President Trump, his associates and Russia.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Our guest James Balog is an award-winning photographer, whose work explores the relationship between humans and nature. It's a subject that's taken on increased urgency, he believes, with growing evidence of the impact of climate change. He was last on our show to talk about climate change and the melting of Arctic glacial ice, which he documented through time-lapse photography. That led to his project the Extreme Ice Survey and his film "Chasing Ice."

Before I talk about individual essays in Emily Bernard's new book, Black Is the Body, I want to pay it an all-inclusive tribute. Even the best essay collections routinely contain some filler, but of the 12 essays here, there's not one that even comes close to being forgettable.

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This is FRESH AIR. The latest version of "A Star Is Born" is nominated for seven Oscars, including best picture, leading actor and leading actress. This is the fourth version of the film. The 1954 version, starring Judy Garland, is a classic. Garland's daughter, singer and actress Lorna Luft, has written a book about "A Star Is Born" and what her mother went through while making it. Luft's father, Sid Luft, produced the 1954 version and was married to Garland when it was made.

Random House copy chief Benjamin Dreyer is not a fan of the word "very."

"It's not a dreadful word," he allows, but "it's one of my little pet words to do without if you can possibly do without it."

"Very" and its cousins "rather" and "really" are "wan intensifiers," Dreyer explains. In their place, he advises that writers look for a strong adjective that "just sits very nicely by itself" on the page. For example, "very smart" people can be "brilliant" and "very hungry" people can be "ravenous."

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Before states ran legal lotteries, there was the underground street version, the numbers. Some numbers games were run by organized crime. Some were run by enterprising individuals whose best chance at prosperity was through the underground economy. In 1960s Detroit, at a time when a lot of African-Americans were shut out of job and economic opportunities, Fannie Davis started running her own numbers operation. She did well and raised her five children in a comfortable home that she owned.

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:

'Beale Street' And 'Vice' Composer Isn't Afraid To Play The 'Wrong' Notes: Oscar-nominated film composer Nicholas Britell seeks out sounds that capture a movie's essence. His process involves many discussions with directors — and a lot of experimenting.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, editor of the website TV Worth Watching, sitting in for Terry Gross. The Grammy awards are coming up next weekend, and one of the performers up for a Best New Artist Grammy is our first guest, Margo Price.

Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the publication of The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Agatha Christie's first novel featuring fictional detective Hercule Poirot.

An acutely observant crime-solver in the tradition of Sherlock Holmes, Poirot has since been played on screen by such actors as Albert Finney, Peter Ustinov and, most famously, David Suchet, who starred in Poirot, a lengthy series presented in the U.S. by PBS.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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