Fresh Air

Weekdays at noon

Fresh Air opens the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics. 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. Every weekday she delights intelligent and curious listeners with revelations on contemporary societal concerns.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5013


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Television
2:33 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

FX's 'Fargo' Is Neither Remake Nor Sequel

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 5:05 pm

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. The FX cable network premieres a new drama series tonight. It's called "Fargo" and has the same title as the 1996 Coen brothers movie. Our TV critic David Bianculli says it's a wonderful show in that same wacky spirit, but he says it's just as important to note what this new "Fargo" is not. It's not a remake, and it's not a sequel.

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Author Interviews
2:33 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Pakistan, The Taliban And The Real 'Enemy' Of The Afghanistan War

Children play at the demolished compound of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Aqeel Ahmed AP

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 7:42 pm

Carlotta Gall's new book opens in 2006, when undercover Pakistani intelligence agents punched her in the face, after breaking into her hotel room and confiscating her phone and computer.

It's just one example of how risky her job — covering Afghanistan for The New York Times — has been. Gall writes that over 12 years, she lost friends and acquaintances in suicide bombings and shootings and saw others close to her savagely maimed.

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Author Interviews
1:17 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Modern Medicine May Not Be Doing Your Microbiome Any Favors

According to Dr. Martin Blaser, the overuse of antibiotics has contributed to killing off strains of bacteria that typically live in the gut.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 8:18 pm

There are lots of theories about why food allergies, asthma, celiac disease and intestinal disorders like Crohn's disease have been on the rise. Dr. Martin Blaser speculates that it may be connected to the overuse of antibiotics, which has resulted in killing off strains of bacteria that typically live in the gut.

Blaser is an expert on the human microbiome, which is the collection of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microbes that live in and on the body. In fact, up to 90 percent of all the cells in the human body aren't human at all — they're micro-organisms.

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Fresh Air Weekend
6:21 pm
Sat April 12, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: 'Nurse Jackie,' 'Mad Men' And 'Frozen'

Edie Falco plays ER nurse Jackie Peyton, who is competent at her high-stress job but struggles with addiction. The sixth season of Nurse Jackie starts Sunday on Showtime.
Ken Regan Showtime

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 4:30 pm

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:

Edie Falco On Sobriety, The Sopranos, And Nurse Jackie's Self-Medication: Falco plays ER nurse Jackie Peyton, who is competent at her high-stress job but struggles with addiction. The sixth season of Nurse Jackie begins Sunday on Showtime.

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Television
3:41 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Colbert Moves Into Letterman's Coveted Late Night Spot

CBS announced Thursday that the spot held by David Letterman for 21 years will go to Stephen Colbert.

Television
12:28 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Without Giving Too Much Away, Here's What We Can Say About 'Mad Men'

Mad Men — starring Jon Hamm as Don Draper — returns for its seventh and final season Sunday on AMC.
Michael Yarish AMC

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 3:38 pm

This review discusses the plotline of Mad Men, up through the end of Season 6.

Matthew Weiner's Mad Men begins its seventh season Sunday on AMC. Every season, as this outstanding period drama has made its way through the 1960s, Weiner has been increasingly insistent about the things he doesn't want critics to reveal in advance. This year, that confidentiality wish list is almost laughably long, and includes not only the year in which the story resumes, but also specifics about certain relationships — both professional and personal.

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Interviews
12:28 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

At Last, David O. Russell Is Making The Films He Was Meant To Make

A '70s con artist (Christian Bale, right) is forced to team up with an FBI agent (Bradley Cooper, left) in American Hustle, inspired by a real-life sting targeting corrupt politicians.
Francois Duhamel Columbia Pictures

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 3:38 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on Feb. 20, 2014.

Filmmaker David O. Russell first talked with Fresh Air's Terry Gross back in 1994, and two decades later, he tells her: "It's taken me 20 years since I first spoke to you to really make the films that I think I was meant to make, and to be at the level of filmmaking and storytelling and writing that I think I had ever aspired to."

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The Fresh Air Interview
4:20 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Songwriters Behind 'Frozen' Let Go Of The Princess Mythology

Frozen is the tale of sisters Anna and Elsa, whose relationship is captured in music by songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez.
Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 8:29 am

If you have young children, you may know by heart the songs from the Disney animated musical Frozen, including its massively ubiquitous "Let It Go." The songwriting team behind the Oscar-winning hit is Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, a married couple with two children who each sing on the soundtrack.

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Television
2:06 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Edie Falco On Sobriety, The Sopranos, And Nurse Jackie's Self-Medication

Edie Falco plays ER nurse Jackie Peyton, who is competent at her high-stress job but struggles with addiction. The sixth season of Nurse Jackie starts Sunday on Showtime.
Ken Regan Showtime

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 5:03 pm

This interview discusses the plotline of Nurse Jackie through the end of season five and beginning of season six.

In Nurse Jackie, Edie Falco plays an ER nurse who does a lot of self-medicating. Addicted to pills, she finally got sober last season and started going to 12-step meetings. But she saved one pill, and right before going to the party celebrating one year of sobriety, she took it. In the sixth season, which starts Sunday on Showtime, Jackie is back on pills and back to hiding her addiction.

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Author Interviews
2:35 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

A Nonbeliever Tries To Make Sense Of The Visions She Had As A Teen

In her memoir Living With a Wild God, Barbara Ehrenreich describes the mystical visions she had as a teenager.
Courtesy of Twelve/Hachette Book Group

Barbara Ehrenreich is known for her books and essays about politics, social welfare, class, women's health and other women's issues. Her best-seller Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America, explored the difficulties faced by low-wage workers. So fans of Ehrenreich's writing may be surprised at the subject of her new memoir — the mystical visions she had as a teenager.

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Television
2:06 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

'Parenthood' Is Hard, But NBC Gets This Family Drama Right

Family dramas have always been one of television's most difficult genres to do properly, without getting too sweet, too overwrought, or too predictable — but NBC's Parenthood finds the right balance. Above, Ray Romano as Hank, Mae Whitman as Amber, and Lauren Graham as Sarah.
Colleen Hayes NBC

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 4:41 pm

During a recent Fresh Air review of the CBS series The Good Wife, I referred to it as one of my "go-to" shows whenever anyone asks me to name a drama series on broadcast TV that's as good as the ones on cable these days. Ever since, I've wanted to give equal time to my other go-to choice. That show, now winding up its fifth season, is NBC's Parenthood.

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Remembrances
2:06 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Peter Matthiessen On Writing And Zen Buddhism

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 2:57 pm

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. The publication of Peter Matthiessen's final novel "In Paradise" is coinciding with his obituary. He died Saturday at the age of 86. We're going to listen back to an excerpt of my interview with him. Matthiessen was a naturalist, as well as writer, and his fiction and nonfiction books were often inspired by his travels to remote regions, including mountains and rainforests. His books include "The Snow Leopard," "Men's Lives," "At Play in the Field of the Lords" and "Far Tortuga."

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Religion
1:57 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

If Jesus Never Called Himself God, How Did He Become One?

"If Jesus had not been declared God by his followers, his followers would'™ve remained a sect within Judaism, a small Jewish sect," says historian Bart Ehrman.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 6:26 am

When Bart Ehrman was a young Evangelical Christian, he wanted to know how God became a man, but now, as an agnostic and historian of early Christianity, he wants to know how a man became God.

When and why did Jesus' followers start saying "Jesus as God" and what did they mean by that? His new book is called How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee.

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Fresh Air Weekend
1:16 pm
Sat April 5, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: Michael Lewis, Jon Langford, And A Housekeeping How-To

Jolie Kerr says when you have a fresh red wine stain, pouring table salt — no water — on it will suck it right up. "You can go pour some wine on your carpet tonight and try it out!" she says.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat April 26, 2014 1:04 pm

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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Music Reviews
12:53 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Carlene Carter Carries The Heavy Burden Of History Lightly

Carlene Carter.
Marina Chavez Courtesy of the artist

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Interviews
12:04 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

The Politics Of Passing 1964's Civil Rights Act

Demonstrators march down Constitution Avenue during the March on Washington on Aug. 28, 1963.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 2:05 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on Jan. 20, 2014.

Martin Luther King may not have had a vote in Congress, but he and the movement he helped lead were integral to getting the civil rights bill introduced. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of that bill, now known as the Civil Rights Act.

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Television
3:28 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

HBO Fills Sunday Night Lineup With Entertaining Power Struggles

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 4:48 pm

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. This Sunday HBO presents the season premiers of two returning series - "Game of Thrones" and "VEEP" - and launches a new series, a Mike Judge comedy called "Silicon Valley." Our TV critic David Bianculli has seen them all.

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Author Interviews
3:28 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Embarrassing Stains? This Housekeeping Guide Gets That Life Is Messy

Jolie Kerr says when you have a fresh red wine stain, pouring table salt — no water — on it will suck it right up. "You can go pour some wine on your carpet tonight and try it out!" she says.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 4:48 pm

Jerry Seinfeld used to joke that if you have bloodstains on your clothes, you probably have bigger problems than your laundry. But Jolie Kerr is here to help with all the stains — her new book is titled My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag ... and Other Things You Can't Ask Martha.

Kerr is known for giving cleaning advice for unconventional and embarrassing housecleaning and laundry problems — without the judgment of the typical holier-than-thou housekeeping advice columnist.

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Music Reviews
2:54 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Jon Langford Sings Our Impulse To Destroy

Jon Langford with Skull Orchard.
Courtesy of the artist

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All Tech Considered
2:00 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

While Warning Of Chinese Cyberthreat, U.S. Launches Its Own Attack

Staff members study networking at the training room of the Huawei Technologies Co. headquarters in Shenzhen, China, in June 2011.
Kin Cheung AP

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 2:54 pm

The U.S. government has long complained about Chinese hacking and cyberattacks, but new documents show that the National Security Agency managed to penetrate the networks of Huawei, a large Chinese telecommunications firm, gathering information about its operations and potentially using equipment it sells to other countries to monitor their computer and telephone networks as well.

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Book Reviews
2:08 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

This Tightly Choreographed Tale Of Ambition And Ballet Will 'Astonish'

iStockphoto

The title of Maggie Shipstead's second novel is: Astonish Me. She did just that --astonish me -- with her debut novel of 2012, called Seating Arrangements. After reading that novel, I likened the then 20-something-year-old Shipstead to "Edith Wharton with a millennial generation edge." The comparison remains sound.

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Author Interviews
2:00 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

On A 'Rigged' Wall Street, Milliseconds Make All The Difference

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 2:01 pm

"The stock market is rigged," Michael Lewis tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "It's rigged for the benefit for really a handful of insiders. It's rigged to ... maximize the take of Wall Street, of banks, the exchanges and the high-frequency traders at the expense of ordinary investors."

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Author Interviews
3:47 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Son Of A Secret Smuggler Digs Up The Truth About His Dad

Marijuana plants grow at a farm near Medellin. Tony Dokoupil's father made hundreds of thousands of dollars smuggling marijuana into the U.S. from Colombia.
Raul Arboleda AFP/Getty Images

If you smoked Colombian weed in the '70s and '80s, Tony Dokoupil would like to thank you: He says you paid for his swim lessons and kept him in the best private school in south Florida — at least for a little while.

Dokoupil's father started selling marijuana during the Nixon era, and expanded his operation until he became a partner in what his son describes as the biggest East Coast dope ring of the Reagan years, smuggling marijuana into the U.S.

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Music Reviews
3:47 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Fight Sound With Sound: Grateful Dead's Arena Combat

Dave's Picks Volume 9 features a 1974 Grateful Dead concert played in Montana.
Courtesy of the artist

The same week that Neil Young introduced his Pono music player designed to spark a huge boost in audio fidelity, I listened for the first time to a recording of a Grateful Dead concert I attended almost 40 years ago. And I realized that passions about good-sounding music go through cycles. Today, the lo-fi medium is MP3s through earbuds.

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Fresh Air Weekend
11:27 am
Sat March 29, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: Bryan Cranston, 'Redeployment' And A New Yorker Cartoonist

Over the course of Breaking Bad, Walter White (Bryan Cranston) metamorphosed from a high school chemistry teacher to a notorious outlaw.
Ursula Coyote AMC

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:

Read more
Television
11:11 am
Fri March 28, 2014

'The Good Wife' Delivers A Game-Changing Stunner

Originally published on Fri March 28, 2014 2:20 pm

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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Interviews
11:11 am
Fri March 28, 2014

'The Fall Of The House Of Dixie' Built A New U.S.

Random House

Originally published on Fri March 28, 2014 2:20 pm

This interview originally aired on Jan. 7, 2013.

This month marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, which President Lincoln issued on Jan. 1, 1863, in the midst of the Civil War. The document declares that all those held as slaves within any state, or part of a state, in rebellion "shall be then, thenceforward and forever free."

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Movie Reviews
11:11 am
Fri March 28, 2014

In 'Noah,' Earth And The Bible Get A Computer-Generated Reboot

Originally published on Fri March 28, 2014 2:20 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Darren Aronofsky had a surprise hit in 2010 with "Black Swan," which won an Oscar for its star, Natalie Portman. His latest film, "Noah," is a big budget Bible epic based on the story of Noah's Ark. Russell Crowe plays the title character, and the movie also features Jennifer Connelly and Emma Watson.

Film critic David Edelstein has this review.

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Performing Arts
12:47 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

From Walter White To LBJ, Bryan Cranston Is A Master Of Transformation

Over the course of Breaking Bad, Walter White (Bryan Cranston) metamorphosed from a high school chemistry teacher to a notorious outlaw.
Ursula Coyote AMC

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 3:15 pm

In the 2008 pilot of AMC's Breaking Bad, high school teacher Walter White fails to interest his chemistry students in the study of change. But over the course of the series, Walt himself came to exemplify radical change, using his knowledge of chemistry to become a master meth cook, and transforming himself into a notorious outlaw who was willing to kill, when necessary, to keep his operation running.

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Author Interviews
2:50 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

'Sleep Donation': A Dark, Futuristic Lullaby For Insomniacs

efenzi iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 4:42 pm

Imagine an America that has been plagued for years by a mysterious epidemic of insomnia — an affliction so serious that many are dying from lack of sleep. That's the futuristic premise of Karen Russell's new novella, Sleep Donation.

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