It’s that time of summer again when Terry Gross holds her ears and hands me her microphone for a week so she can catch a breather.
Monday’s show is fascinating and chilling as investigative reporter Eric Schlosser talks about America’s nuclear weapons systems and all the accidents, fires, explosions, false attack alerts and accidentally-dropped bombs that plagued the military during the cold war.
Schlosser, perhaps best known for Fast Food Nation, has a meticulously researched-book on the nuclear arsenal which includes a harrowing account of a deadly accident at a Titan II missile silo. The book is Command and Control. Listen.
(UPDATED: The tragic death of Robin Williams has changed the schedule outlined below. We’ll air Terry’s 2006 interview with Williams Tuesday, New York Times Congressional correspondent Jonathan Weisman Wednesday, and the creators of The Knick Thursday. The Neil Oxman interview will air next week.)
Tuesday, New York Times Congressional correspondent Jonathan Weisman tells us whether things in Congress are as depressing as they seem (spoiler alert: they are). But Weisman beings a lot of insight to the mess in Washington, and you’ll want to hear what he says when I challenge him to name some members of Congress who want to do the right thing and can act with courage.
Wednesday I speak with Jack Amiel and Michael Begler, creators of the new Cinemax series The Knick, a historically- grounded and very graphic take on the early days of surgery. Also in the conversation is Dr. Stanley Burns, a medical historian who has a collection of over a million vintage photographs.
And Thursday veteran media consultant Neil Oxman will give us a tutorial on political advertising and tell us how the business has changed. I’m recording this interview Tuesday. If you have ideas for questions, drop them in the comment section.
You can hear Fresh Air at 3 and 7 on WHYY-FM, 90.9 on your dial. If you’re listening outside the Philadelphia area, find a station here.