Fresh Air

Weeknights at 6
  • Hosted by http://www.npr.org/programs/fa/

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.

On Feb. 9, 1950, Joseph McCarthy, a junior senator from Wisconsin, stunned the nation — and stoked the paranoia of the Cold War — when he alleged that there were 205 spies working within the U.S. State Department. It was the beginning of a four-year anti-communist, anti-gay crusade in which McCarthy would charge military leaders, diplomats, teachers and professors with being traitors.

I always remember how a beloved college professor of mine responded when I told him the news that I'd gotten a fellowship to a Ph.D. program in English. "Well," he said, "at least you'll be able to read Finnegans Wake in the unemployment line."

At the time, I laughed along. I, too, believed literature would be enough of a consolation were I ever to find myself jobless and broke. But no more. The passing years and the present economic crisis make Finnegans Wake seem like cold comfort.

Growing up in Queens in the 1970s, Padma Lakshmi remembers eating a spaghetti dish her mother made with upma, an Indian porridge. The Top Chef host and executive producer, who came to the U.S. from India at age 4, says such culinary mash-ups are common in immigrant kitchens.

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:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

After playing Captain Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation for seven seasons — more than 170 episodes — and in four movies, Patrick Stewart was ready to say goodbye to the role in 2002.

"Star Trek had taken over my life," Stewart says. "I got to a point ... when I felt that I had said everything that I wanted to say about Jean-Luc Picard and his life on the Enterprise."

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

For more than two decades as an internist at New York City's Bellevue Hospital, Dr. Danielle Ofri has seen her share of medical errors. She warns that they are far more common than many people realize — especially as hospitals treat a rapid influx of COVID-19 patients.

"I don't think we'll ever know what number, in terms of cause of death, is [due to] medical error — but it's not small," she says.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Pages