Sunday Morning News Specials And Documentaries

Tune In For A New Special Sundays At 5 a.m.


Feb. 17, 2019: A Valentine's Special from WNYC's Death, Sex & Money

Real Love with host Anna Sale is a one-hour Valentine’s Day Special from WNYC’s Death, Sex & Money. It’s a personal, honest look at love and how it defines the many chapters of life. Celebrities as well as listeners share their most intimate thoughts about falling in love, navigating the highs and lows of marriage, testing boundaries, forgiveness, and breaking up.

Jane Fonda reflects on her marriage to Ted Turner -- both its beginning and its end -- and about getting into a relationship again.  Sex columnist Dan Savage divulges the surprisingly significant issue in his marriage: his husband’s online spending habits. Nashville couple Jason Isbell, formerly of the Drive-By Truckers, and Amanda Shires talk about how they deal with jealousy and temptation on the road. James McBride, author of The Color of Water, shares his life priorities after a failed marriage -- and whether he thinks he can ever commit again. Chaz Ebert reflects on the last months of her husband Roger Ebert’s life, when she became not only his caregiver, but also his voice.

Feb. 10, 2019: IQ2: Ten Years After The Global Financial Crisis - Is The System Safer?

In 2008, the world witnessed one of the worst financial crises in global history. Ten years later, has the world learned its lesson? Panelists debate whether the system has shored up its weaknesses, or if in the face of a booming economy, the U.S. and countries around the world are repeating the mistakes of the past.

Feb. 3, 2019: Two Years: Diaries of a Divided Nation

The documentary is a people’s history of the forty-fifth presidency, recorded in real time, over the first two years of the Trump presidency. It follows a group of Americans who differ widely in their politics, personal identities, locations, and ages.

Jan. 27, 2019: APM - In The Dark: The Trials of Curtis Flowers

This program is a story of a black man who has been tried six times for the same crime – a quadruple murder in a small town in Mississippi – and a white prosecutor who is determined to have him executed. The documentary examines the case against Curtis Flowers and reveals that witnesses against him testified falsely; and that the prosecutor systematically struck black potential jurors from the jury pool, ensuring that Flowers was always tried by juries that were mostly or entirely white.

Jan. 20, 2019: Center for Documentary Studies: The Invention of Race

This history special traces the development of racial, and racist, ideas, from the ancient world -- when "there was no notion of race," as historian Nell Irvin Painter puts it -- up to the founding of the United States as, fundamentally, a nation of and for white people (despite the "all men are created equal" language of the Declaration of Independence). Host John Biewen tells a story that names names.

Jan. 13, 2019: HAITI UNTOLD from Round Earth Media 

Saturday January 12th marks nine years since Haiti was struck by a devastating earthquake — one that, by some estimates, killed more than 250,000 people, and one from which the island nation is still working to recover. Haiti Untold takes a deep dive into this Caribbean country, exploring issues of inequality through stories of the people who live in the urban ghettos, the up-market enclaves, and the forgotten countryside.

Jan. 6, 2019: IQ2 — Has Silicon Valley Lost its Soul? 

Silicon Valley once promised to solve many of the world’s problems with a technological revolution. But today the tech hub is the center of much scrutiny — from privacy violations to flawed business models to a lack of diversity — Silicon Valley has seemingly betrayed its idealism. But the valley's proponents believe that big tech’s detractors simply expect too much from lucrative corporations, and that its original "do good" attitude remains intact. 

Dec. 30, 2018: Ken Rudin's Political Junkie 2018 Remembrances Special

As 2018 draws to a close, Political Junkie Ken Rudin remembers the lawmakers and newsmakers from the world of politics who passed away this year. Ken interviews their colleagues, friends and the journalists who covered them, to reflect on their passions and chronicle their accomplishments. It's the Political Junkie 2018 Remembrances Special, as we recount these individuals’ contributions to political history, and honor their commitments to public service.

Dec. 23, 2018: Re: Sound — The Twisted Xmas Show

It's the Third Coast Festival's take on the holidays. A father turns on a recorder while tucking in his 7-year-old, having no idea he’s about to capture a poignant growing-up moment in his son’s life. The soundtrack of the holidays is lousy with annoying songs about sleigh rides and snowmen. One of the saving graces this time of year is the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas. And a satirical look at the way public radio often treats "exotic" holidays, applied to Christmas.

Dec. 16, 2018: IQ2 - Is Trump Bad for Comedy?

From the opening skit on Saturday Night Live to the pages of The Onion, President Trump has become the face of comedy. According to his critics, he has normalized the absurd and effectively de-fanged political satire. But others disagree; they argue that the president serves up comedy-gold every day, making their jobs – and the laughs they seek to elicit – easier than ever before. Is the president killing comedy? Or is he making the funny business ever more relevant?

Dec. 9, 2018: Climate One - Are Human Lives Improving?

In their 1968 book The Population Bomb, Paul and Anne Ehrlich warned of the dangers of overpopulation. These included mass starvation, societal upheaval and environmental ruin. This and other dire predictions about humankind earned Ehrlich a reputation as a prophet of doom, and fifty years later he doesn’t see much in the way of improvement. Harvard cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker, on the other hand, prefers to look on the bright side: people are living longer, extreme poverty has been decreasing globally, worldwide literacy is on the rise. Is the glass half empty, or half full?

Dec. 2, 2018: IQ2 - Will Retail Alliances Fix the U.S. Health Care System?

What will save U.S. health care? Some argue that the bargaining power and data competencies of retailers entering into the healthcare business will squeeze middlemen out of an inefficient supply chain and bring more transparency to health care pricing. But others argue that the promise of these novel efforts is overstated, particularly because U.S. health care is so complex and deeply rooted. Will consumer-focused models and employer-led initiatives lead to better and less expensive outcomes? 

Nov. 28, 2018: Ken Rudin's Political Junkie: 1968 — 50 Years Later - The Voters Have Their Say

Part 3 of a special series — 1968: 50 Years Later. Richard Nixon stages a political comeback. Segregationist Gov. George Wallace mounts an independent presidential bid. And a conflicted Hubert Humphrey breaks from LBJ and gives a televised speech opposing the bombing in North Vietnam. Days before the election, President Johnson stops the bombing in an effort to boost peace talks. Nixon holds on to narrowly win the election.

Nov. 18, 2018: Ken Rudin's Political Junkie: 1968 - 50 Years Later - Party Divided
Part 2 of a special series from Ken Rudin's Political Junkie -- 1968: 50 Years Later. The Democratic National Convention gets underway in Chicago, but there is turmoil both inside the hall and outside. Anti-Vietnam War demonstrators and police clash violently in the streets. The Chicago Eight are charged with conspiracy and incitement to riot. Meanwhile, inside the hall, floor fights between establishment and anti-war delegates threaten to tear the party apart. Vice President Hubert Humphrey secures the nomination despite having not competed in any primaries. 


Nov. 11, 2018: Ken Rudin's Political Junkie: 1968 — 50 Years Later — Turbulence and Tragedy

Part 1 of a special series from Ken Rudin's Political Junkie -- 1968: 50 Years Later. After a disappointing result in the New Hampshire Primary, President Lyndon B. Johnson drops his bid for re-election. The Gene McCarthy campaign is furious as Bobby Kennedy enters the race. On the Republican side, Richard Nixon launches a political comeback. The nation reels after the tragic assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis. And the assassination of RFK on the night of the California primary sends the Democratic Party into a tailspin.

Oct. 28, 2018: Will Progressive Populism Save The Democratic Party?

The Democratic party stands at a crossroads. For progressive populists, the path forward is clear: Democrats must get back in touch with the party’s working-class roots by championing policies such as Medicare for all, free public college tuition, and a guaranteed federal jobs program. They say this strategy is key to regaining power. But others argue that a handful of high-profile progressive wins have been overhyped and that centrist policies will win elections.

Oct. 21, 2018: Unresolved: U.S. National Security

For the United States, tensions are rising with both allies and adversaries. What does this mean for U.S. national security? Staged in our "unresolved" format, five esteemed foreign policy thought leaders will argue for or against a number of motions revolving around some of America’s most pressing national security issues, including: Is NATO no longer fit for purpose? Is the Russia threat overblown? And is it time to take a hard line on Iran?

Oct. 14, 2018: APM Reports: Hard Words - Why Aren't Our Kids Being Taught to Read?

For generations, educators have fought about how kids learn to read and what that means about how they should be taught. Now, there is definitive evidence from neuroscience on how the brain learns to read and it suggests very different approaches to reading instruction than those that are commonly found in schools. This documentary explores why the reading science is not making its way into American classrooms – or teacher preparation programs – and what can be done about it.

Oct. 7, 2018: APM Reports: Old Idea, New Economy - Rediscovering Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are having a moment. Supporters on both the right and the left say the “earn while you learn” approach can help create a more skilled workforce, provide a path to solid, middle-class careers, and serve as a needed corrective to the “college for all” push that has left some students with piles of debt and no obvious career. How can apprenticeships expand to include careers beyond the traditional trades and reach new populations searching for a foothold in the middle class?

Sept. 30, 2018: APM Reports - Still Rising: First Generation College Students A Decade Later

Mario Martinez and Katy Sorto were the first in their families to go to college. They started at community college in 2008 hoping to earn degrees, but the odds were against them. Both are from low-income families, they ended up in remedial classes, and they knew almost no one who had been to college. This documentary tells their remarkable stories 10 years later and provides a rare window on the personal experience of trying to move up through education.

Sept. 23, 2018: APM Reports - Changing Class: Are Colleges Helping Americans Move Up?

If you want to move up in America, go to college. That’s the advice people get. There’s loads of evidence that a college degree will improve your economic prospects, but a new project by economists shows that some colleges are doing a better job than others when it comes to promoting social mobility. And some colleges are doing more to exacerbate class divides than to help people move up. We visit a college coming to terms with its own role in perpetuating class divides and another that has long been a “mobility maker” – but is struggling to stay that way.

Sept. 16, 2018: Has Globalization Undermined The American Working Class?

Globalization ushered in an era of free trade, fluid borders, and unparalleled corporate profits. But in the U-S, jobs are disappearing, and the American working class is losing ground. Is globalization to blame? Did the push toward global integration leave our most vulnerable populations behind, making them the losers of this grand experiment? Or is globalization being used as a scapegoat for a wider range of failed public policies and unprecedented advances in technology?

Sept. 9, 2018: America Abroad - Combating Extremist Ideology Since 9/11

It's been 17 years since 9/11, and 14 years since the 9/11 Commission released its recommendations on how to prevent future attacks. While much of the focus has been on military solutions, the commission also made recommendations on how to use diplomacy and soft power to prevent the growth of extremist ideology abroad. In this episode, we take a look at those recommendations, how the Bush and Obama administrations worked to implement them, and what lies ahead for the future.

Sept. 2, 2018: Blue Dot: Wildfires

The catastrophic wildfire season in the west has been called "the new normal?" But is it? And what could normal even mean when confronted by such extreme events. We asked three experts to weigh in on the science of wildfire. Natasha Stavros is a forest and wildfire ecologist who does research for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and weighs in on the many factors affecting western wildfires. Then Eric Kurth joins us from the National Weather Service. They have the difficult task of forecasting fire weather and smoke conditions in the wake of massive fires from Yosemite to Redding. Finally, we turn to Oceanographer/Climate expert emeritus Bill Patzert to give us a much needed big picture perspective.

Aug. 26, 2018:  Intelligence Squared U.S. - Is Social Media Good for Democracy?

By connecting people across the world for free, social media set the stage for a promising digital revolution by providing tools that democratize information. Critics argue that rather than uniting and informing, social media deepens social and political divisions and erodes trust in the democratic process. Will the power of social media yet be harnessed and used as an unprecedented force for good in the world? Or do systemic platform flaws pose an irreversible threat to the world’s democratic institutions? The debaters are Jeff Jarvis, Franklin Foer, Emily Parker, and Roger McNamee.

Aug. 19, 2018: America Abroad - Document Leaks: The Consequences Of Revealing Secrets

When is leaking documents and revealing secrets worth the potential security risks? This hour, we'll talk about when document leaks are legal, when they are morally justified, and when they aren't — how, at times, they've put lives in danger.

Aug. 12, 2018: Climate One: The New Surf And Turf

Production of animal protein is producing vast amounts of climate-eating gases. But a new generation of companies are creating innovative food products that mimic meat and have much smaller environmental impacts. Some of this mock meat is derived from plants with ingredients designed to replicate the taste and pleasure of chomping into a beef hamburger. Others are growing meat cells that come from a laboratory and not a cow.

Aug. 5, 2018: IQ2 - Trigger Warning: Are Safe Spaces Dangerous?

Deeply rooted in social justice movements of the past, safe spaces promise a reprieve from bigotry and oppression by allowing today’s students — the most culturally and racially diverse in history — the opportunity to express themselves in an empathetic environment. But to their critics, safe spaces pose a threat to free speech and undermine the resilience of a generation. Are safe spaces coddling young minds?

July 29, 2018: APM Reports: Order 9066 — Chapter 3

On Feb. 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, just months after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. Some 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry were forced from their homes on the West Coast and sent to one of ten "relocation" camps, where they were imprisoned behind barbed wire for the length of the war. Two-thirds of them were American citizens.

July 22, 2018: APM Reports: Order 9066 — Chapter 2

On Feb. 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, just months after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. Some 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry were forced from their homes on the West Coast and sent to one of ten "relocation" camps, where they were imprisoned behind barbed wire for the length of the war. Two-thirds of them were American citizens.

July 15, 2018: APM Reports: Order 9066 — Chapter 1

On Feb. 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, just months after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. Some 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry were forced from their homes on the West Coast and sent to one of ten "relocation" camps, where they were imprisoned behind barbed wire for the length of the war. Two-thirds of them were American citizens.