Fresh Air

News & Information: Mon-Fri • 3pm-4pm | 6pm-7pm
Terry Gross

A weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues featuring in-depth yet intimate conversations with top news makers. Interviews are complemented with contributions from well-known critics and commentators.

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:07 am
Sat November 22, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: Norman Lear, A Review Of Basement Tapes, Jon Stewart

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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Remembrances
10:23 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Fresh Air Remembers Film And Broadway Director Mike Nichols

Nichols directed such movies as The Graduate and Birdcage and Broadway musicals such as Spamalot. He won nine Tony Awards. Nichols died Wednesday at 83. He talked with Terry Gross in 2001.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Performing Arts
10:23 am
Fri November 21, 2014

For Alan Cumming, Life Is (Once Again) A Cabaret

This is the third time Cumming has starred in the musical. He talks about the new production — everything from his costume (which he calls a "Wonder Bra" for men) to the darker themes of the show.

Originally aired April 28, 2014.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Politics
12:09 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Sen. Mitch McConnell's Political Life, Examined, In 'The Cynic'

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will take over as Senate majority leader in the new term in January.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 1:35 pm

When Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) first entered politics in the 1960s, he started out as moderate — pro-abortion rights, pro-union, in support of the civil rights movement. With time, McConnell shifted to the right as the Republican Party shifted.

"I was just really startled by this when I started looking into it," Alec MacGillis tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I knew that he had started out as somewhat more moderate — but I didn't realize just how moderate he really was."

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Book Reviews
12:09 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

'Redeployment' Explores Iraq War's Physical And Psychic Costs

In his short story collection, former Marine Phil Klay takes his experience in Iraq and clarifies it, lucidly tracing the moral, political and psychological curlicues of Operation Iraqi Freedom. On Wednesday, he won the National Book Award for fiction for the collection.

This review originally aired March 26, 2014.

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Television
10:48 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Jon Stewart On The 'Daily Show': 'I'm Still Really Proud Of The Work We Do'

Stewart talks about his future hosting the show known for its political satire.

"It is unclear to me," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "The minute I say I'm not going to do it anymore, I will miss it like crazy."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Music
10:48 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Bob Dylan's Atmosphere Captured In New Basement Tapes

A batch of lyrics that Bob Dylan wrote in the late 1960s were given by Dylan to producer T-Bone Burnett, who came up with the idea to have some contemporary musicians set the words to music. Burnett gathered Elvis Costello, Marcus Mumford, My Morning Jacket's Jim James, Taylor Goldsmith from Dawes, and Rhiannon Giddens from the Carolina Chocolate Drops, and they recorded an album over the course of two weeks in L.A. It's called Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes, and Showtime will air a documentary about the making of the album on November 21.

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Movie Interviews
10:48 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Bennett Miller On Making The True-Life Crime Film 'Foxcatcher'

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 1:22 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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All Tech Considered
12:35 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

How A Feud Between Two Russian Companies Fueled A 'Spam Nation'

Don't install software from the Web unless it's directly from the company that made it. If you do install software, make sure you update it. And whatever you do, don't open attachments emailed to you by spammers.

These are just a few warnings from Brian Krebs, an investigative journalist and cybersecurity expert.

Krebs learned the ins and outs of how the spam industry works when he was given documents in the aftermath of a feud between two Russian companies — two of the largest sponsors of pharmaceutical spam.

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Author Interviews
12:35 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Norman Lear Looks Back On His Long Life In 'Even This I Get To Experience'

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Author Interviews
10:25 am
Mon November 17, 2014

An In-Depth Look At The U.S. Cyber War, The Military Alliance And Its Pitfalls

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Television
10:25 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Holy Smokes 'Batman,' The '60s Series Is Out On DVD

Unlike later incarnations of Batman, the '60s version was tongue-in-cheek.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 1:31 pm

If you're an impressionable young kid hitting your teens right now, chances are pretty good you've been watching and enjoying some Batman — either Christian Bale in Christopher Nolan's just-completed Dark Knight trilogy, or the prequel series, Gotham, now showing on Fox. If you came of age a generation ago, your Batman of choice was likely to have been the big-screen caped crusader played by Michael Keaton or George Clooney. Or maybe even Val Kilmer.

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:13 am
Sat November 15, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: Jon Stewart, Peter Mendelsund And A Review Of Bob Dylan

Rosewater is Jon Stewart's directorial debut. He filmed much of the movie in Jordan, and he says he grew a beard because after wearing a suit and shaving for most of his career, he wanted to let his "freak flag fly."
Laith Majali Courtesy of Open Road Films

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
10:56 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Eric Hofbauer Takes On Stravinsky, Messiaen

Boston jazz guitarist Eric Hofbauer's quintet has two new CDs out, playing 20th-century classics. One is the year's second jazz version of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, following the Bad Plus' trio version. The other is Olivier Messiaen's very unjazzy Quartet for the End of Time. Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead likes them a lot.

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Movie Reviews
10:56 am
Fri November 14, 2014

'Foxcatcher': A Bloated True-Crime Story Based On Wealthy Heir John du Pont

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Television
10:56 am
Fri November 14, 2014

'Getting On' With It: A New HBO Show Doesn't Tiptoe Around Death

Set in the geriatric extended-care wing of a California hospital, Getting On is a different kind of workplace comedy. Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer adapted the show from a BBC series of the same name, and added new material largely inspired by experiences they had with their own mothers.

Originally aired Dec. 23, 2013.

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Movie Interviews
10:34 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Jon Stewart's Debut Film Shows 'Humor Survives' In The Bleakest Conditions

Rosewater is Jon Stewart's directorial debut. He filmed much of the movie in Jordan, and he says he grew a beard because after wearing a suit and shaving for most of his career, he wanted to let his "freak flag fly."
Laith Majali Courtesy of Open Road Films

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 12:00 pm

When asked about how he reacted to learning that one of his Daily Show satires was used as evidence to torture a journalist in Iran, Jon Stewart says, "I might have uttered the phrase: 'Are you — with some profane adjective — are you kidding me?' "

"It's so surreal and it's so absurd that it's hard to imagine it as not farce," Stewart tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

That discovery led to Stewart making his first film, Rosewater, adapted from a memoir by journalist Maziar Bahari.

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Music
11:31 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Bob Dylan's 'Basement Tapes' Formed A Legend

Bob Dylan's career was interrupted in 1966 when he crashed his motorcycle while riding near his home in upstate New York. He wasn't badly injured, but used the occasion to disengage from the grind of touring he'd been doing, relax, and hang out with his band. During this hiatus, some tapes surfaced of new songs he'd been writing: the infamous Basement Tapes. On the occasion of the entire archive being released, Fresh Air critic Ed Ward takes a look at them.

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Author Interviews
11:30 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Author Richard Ford Says 'Let Me Be Frank' About Aging And Dying

A house on the central Jersey Shore coast collapsed after Superstorm Sandy hit in 2012. Richard Ford said he focused on houses in the wake of the storm in his new book, Let Me Be Frank With You, because they have an "almost iconic status." "A house is where you look out the window and see the world," he says.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 6:11 am

When Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Ford was a young man, he says, he had a cynical view of aging.

"I sort of went through life thinking that when you got to be in your 60s that basically you weren't good for much," Ford tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "That's a younger man's view. I know that the AARP phones are ringing when I say that, but now I'm 70 and I don't think that anymore, OK?"

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The Impact of War
1:50 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Moral Injury Is The 'Signature Wound' Of Today's Veterans

U.S. soldiers stand at a checkpoint around Lakokhel camp in Afghanistan in 2010. Many soldiers return from war suffering from "moral injuries," or dealing with the fact that their sense of right and wrong was violated.
Martin Bureau AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 6:23 am

Many veterans face an injury that goes largely unacknowledged — but journalist David Wood is bringing it to the forefront.

"I think that almost everyone who returns from war has suffered some kind of moral injury," Wood tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "And I do not mean by that that they have done something wrong — only that they have seen or experienced things, which violate their own sense of who they are, their own sense of right and wrong, their own sort of moral compass."

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