Leyla Hussein was born in Somalia and has long lived in Britain. Age seven, she underwent female genital mutilation – which she describes as sexual assault. She is a prominent, fearless, and also, frankly, delightful campaigner against this. With Jay, she talks about different angles of FGM. You know what class of people she has taken the most flak from? White liberal women. Treat yourself to this “Q&A,” and to the extraordinary Leyla Hussein.More
Ben Shapiro, the conservative writer and journalist, spoke at Berkeley last week. They spent $600,000 on security. For lil’ ol’ Ben? Yes. He spoke bravely and well. In this “Q&A,” he talks about the experience with Jay, and about higher education, the political temperature in America, health care, and some other things. This episode is a quick blast o’ Ben.More
Douglas Murray is a British intellectual, famous since he was a teenager. His latest book is “The Strange Death of Europe.” It is No. 1 on the U.K. bestseller list. In this “Q&A,” Jay asks him about politics and policy, of course. Politics and policy in Britain, America, and elsewhere. But they also talk about novels, poetry, and music. (Murray himself is a musician.) When you have time, spend an hour with one of the most interesting writers in the world, Douglas Murray.More
As Jay says at the outset, Kevin D. Williamson is one of his favorite writers and favorite people. In this hour, they explore a range of subjects either timely or timeless (and in some cases both). They talk about Kevin’s upbringing in West Texas. And about controversies he’s been involved in. (“White genocide”?) And about Trump, and economics, and immigration. They end on such topics as writers and composers. All in all, they explore the Williamsonian point of view, or the Williamsonian persuasion. Meet a man and a mind.More
Michael Mukasey is one of the most distinguished lawyers in the country: a former federal judge, a former attorney general. With Jay, he talks about becoming a lawyer. And studying with Bork. Then he discusses some names now in the news: Jeff Sessions, Joe Arpaio, James Comey, Robert Mueller, Donald Trump … An interesting and stimulating Q&A about our law, our politics, and our fate.More
As Jay says, Robert Costa is one of the leading political reporters and analysts in the country. He works for the Washington Post and appears on NBC and MSNBC. He is also host of “Washington Week,” the venerable public-affairs program on PBS.
Jay asks him about the Trump White House: Is it still fun to cover? Still juicy, even with the arrival of the disciplined General Kelly? What about McMaster? What about (the departed) Bannon? What about Sarah Sanders?More
The world is quaking with problems; America has a few of its own. Jay talks about some of them with Elliott Abrams, late of the Reagan State Department and the Bush (43) White House, now with the Council on Foreign Relations.
The Afghan War: Should we be continuing it? What does victory look like? North Korea: Is Steve Bannon right? Do they “got us”? Russia: Was Congress right to sanction them as they did? Is this a usurpation of executive authority? What about Ukraine: Arm them?More
Sir Roger Scruton is the British philosopher, novelist, composer, etc. Jay likes to talk to him about pressing issues of the day and timeless ones as well. Sometimes, they are in the same group. On this podcast, Jay talks with Sir Roger about the “post-truth age.” And Donald Trump. And the nature of conservatism. And patriotism versus nationalism. And Russia. And democracy.
Do you want more? There is the question of social welfare and whether capitalism can deliver the goods. There is the question of Amazon, the online retailer: Is Trump right in his attacks on it? There is also the question of the smartphone, and all related to it: Are we losing the ability to be fully or properly human? Are the social media robbing us of our manhood, somehow?More
Yefim “Fima” Bronfman is one of the greatest pianists of our time. He has been playing at the Salzburg Festival, where Jay has been working. The two of them sat down for a “Q&A,” covering a range of topics: composers, pianists, and the musical life. A fine opportunity to hear words from someone famous for notes.
P.S. The podcast goes out with Bronfman in Prokofiev’s famous, fearsome “Precipitato,” from his Sonata No. 7.More
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is the congresswoman from Miami. She is also one of Jay’s favorite people in public life (and in life). A congresswoman since 1989, she is retiring at the end of this session.
With Scott Immergut, the producer known as Blue Yeti, Jay traveled to Capitol Hill to record this “Q&A” in person. Ros-Lehtinen’s office was the setting. There are dogs, babies, and general good cheer: This is a family atmosphere. No one ever enjoyed being a member of Congress more than Ros-Lehtinen has.More
Throwing rules to the wind, Jay does a music program: a half-hour of music about summer, or related to summer. We’ll hear Mendelssohn, Webern, Barber, and others. There’s a girl named Jeannie involved, too (with light brown hair). This “Q&A,” or non-“Q&A,” is a midsummer night’s gift.More
David Satter is an American authority on Russia – a man who cares so much about Russia and the Russian people that he bothers to understand them. And to tell the truth about them, as he knows it. Speaking of knowing: His latest book is “The Less You Know, the Better You Sleep.”
With Jay, he talks about Putin, the diaspora, democracy, Trump, Stalin, literature, and a lot more. An experienced, learned, and bold scholar and journalist. He says that Westerners have misunderstood Russia for years – they think the rest of the world is like them. Satter, for one, avoids that mistake.More
Gao Zhisheng is one of the most heroic men in China, or anywhere. He is a human-rights lawyer who has put his neck on the line and paid for it with ten years of imprisonment and torture.
His wife and two children fled to America. One of those children is Grace, a senior in college, who is presently at the Oslo Freedom Forum, where Jay is too. They sat down for this “Q&A.” What’s it like to be the daughter of such a man? What does it do to you?More
Diana Damrau is an opera star – a German soprano – and a total delight. Jay sat down with her in New York for this “Q&A.” They talk about her new album – a compilation of Meyerbeer – and many other things: her children, her favorite singers, her technique, her dancing (including Michael Jackson routines).
No one can resist this soprano onstage. She is pretty irresistible in interviews, too. See what you think.More