In this week's New Yorker, the journalist details how the electoral climate since the Citizens United ruling in 2010 has negatively affected the Obama campaign's appeal to Democratic donors. Mayer tells Fresh Air that Obama has to make a "terrible choice between his principles and politics."
Saturday Night Live's Bill Hader, nominated for an Emmy for his character Stefon, an obsessive clubgoer, says he needs a character to be funny. Hader tells Fresh Air that he doesn't know how people do standup — and that watching old films as a child sparked his interest in Hollywood.
Comedian Phyllis Diller died Monday at the age of 95. In a 1986 interview with Fresh Air, Diller explains her routine when starting out, before she developed her persona as a crazed housewife.
Journalist Seth Rosenfeld spent three decades pursuing government documents about the FBI's undercover operation in Berkeley, Calif., during the student protest movements in the '60s. His new book details how the FBI "used dirty tricks to stifle dissent on campus" and influenced Ronald Reagan's politics.
The comedian co-wrote a film with Ira Glass, of public radio's This American Life, about his life and sleepwalking disorder. But making Sleepwalk With Me, based on Birbiglia's one-man show and comedic memoir, caused Birbiglia anxiety — which exacerbated his disorder.
The author worked in a paper mill and meatpacking plant for 32 years before becoming a writer. His second book The Devil All the Time, set in his hometown of Knockemstiff, Ohio, is now out in paperback.
The actor and writer is famous for taking his characters — Ali G., Borat, Bruno — into the world, interacting with people who have no idea that they're dealing with a fictional character. His movie, The Dictator, a comedy about a tyrant on the loose in New York, will soon be released on DVD.
There are lots of stories about the band that got away. For rock historian Ed Ward, one of those groups has always been Autosalvage, a New York quartet who made one album and then stopped playing.
In the new movie Robot & Frank, the actor plays an aging ex-burglar who learns to take advantage of his robot caretaker. Langella, 74, tells Fresh Air why he was drawn to the role, and discusses the ups and downs of his long career.
Garbarek helped the ECM label find its emerging voice 40 years ago. A new box set of early albums captures the saxophonist's forming sound — austere and astringent.
Thirty-three states now have voter ID laws requiring identification for voting. Some new laws requiring photo ID are being challenged in court or reviewed by the Justice Department. One supporter says these laws will prevent fraud. A critic says the claims are overblown.
The Republican vice presidential pick wants to take another look at programs like Medicare and Social Security. Fresh Air's resident linguist parses the word "entitlement" in its political and nonpolitical contexts.
"We've had time to act — and essentially we haven't acted," says science journalist Michael Lemonick. He describes the threats posed by climate change in his new book, Global Weirdness: Severe Storms, Deadly Heat Waves, Relentless Drought, Rising Seas, and the Weather of the Future.
In Peter Heller's debut novel, The Dog Stars, a man named Hig survives a superflu that kills most of humanity. Heller, a travel and adventure writer, says that when his novel took a post-apocalyptic turn, he found himself relying on his real-life scrapes and survival skills.
This weekend: Chris Rock explains how doing well has affected his humor and how "the most fun thing" is being a dad. Ken Tucker says Black Keys member Dan Auerbach works wonders as a producer. And Dean Norris on playing good in Breaking Bad.