Weekend Edition

Weekends at 8-10AM
Scott Simon

Whether revealing events in small-town America or overseas, or profiling notable personalities, Weekend Edition from NPR News appreciates the extraordinary details that make up every story. This two-hour morning newsmagazine covers hard news, a wide variety of newsmakers, and cultural stories with care, accuracy, and a wink of humor, courtesy of hosts Scott Simon and Liane Hansen.

On Saturdays, Simon's award-winning commentaries sum up an idea or event related to the week's news. There are fresh reports from a cross-section of NPR correspondents on topics from religion to health to food to politics. Simon's interviews with key artists, authors, performers and personalities are always memorable.

On Sundays, Weekend Edition combines the news with colorful arts and human-interest features, appealing to the curious and eclectic. With a nod to traditional Sunday habits, the program offers a fix for diehard crossword addicts-word games and brainteasers with The Puzzlemaster, a.k.a. Will Shortz, puzzle editor of The New York Times. With Hansen on the sidelines, a caller plays the latest word game on the air while listeners compete silently at home. The NPR mailbag is proof that the competition to go head-to-head with Shortz is rather vigorous.

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8:16am

Sat May 19, 2012
Technology

Journey Through Musical Time With This App

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Music has a way of transporting us in time.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "G.I. JIVE")

SIMON: So, indulge a little. Close your eyes, turn up the radio, you might just get transported to 1944.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "G.I. JIVE")

LOUIS JORDAN: (Singing) P-F-C to C-P-L, S-G-T to the L-T. C-P the O-D, the M-P makes ya do K-P. It's the G. I. Jive Man.

SIMON: 1971.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MAGGIE MAY")

ROD STEWART: (Singing) Wake up Maggie, I think I've got something to say to you.

SIMON: Or 1993.

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8:16am

Sat May 19, 2012
Business

What To Expect In Facebook's Future

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Stock in Facebook went on sale for the first time yesterday, the largest initial public offering of stock for an Internet company, and the sale instantly created scores of millionaires in Silicon Valley, about half a dozen or so billionaires. NPR's technology correspondent Steven Henn joins us. He's followed it all from Silicon Valley. Steve, thanks for being with us.

STEVE HENN, BYLINE: Sure, my pleasure.

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8:16am

Sat May 19, 2012
Asia

Chinese Activist Leaves Beijing For U.S.

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

Chen Guangcheng, the blind, Chinese human rights lawyer, is on a plane headed for America right now, according to his friends and supporters. Chinese authorities gave Mr. Chen a passport today and drove him to an airport in Beijing. His departure caps a remarkable few weeks that included a daring escape from house arrest and high-stakes, diplomatic negotiations.

NPR's Frank Langfitt has been following the story from Shanghai. Frank, thanks for being with us.

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8:16am

Sat May 19, 2012
Business

Average Investors Share Facebook Feelings

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Facebook IPO hasn't just sent a jolt of excitement through Silicon Valley, there are many average individual investors who are also thrilled. NPR's Sonari Glinton has more.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: All right. It's a little after 9:30 on Friday. The bell just rang on the NASDAQ, and I'm gonna check in with some regular investors. I'm gonna start with Nelly Sai-Palm. She's a student at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, and I'm going to give her a call.

(SOUNDBITE OF TELEPHONE RINGING)

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5:57am

Sat May 19, 2012
Author Interviews

Americans: A 'Bunch Of Amateurs,' And Proud Of It

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

Book cover detail: Bunch of Amateurs

Jack Hitt says if you drill down into the American spirit to find out what makes Americans so American, you'll find it's the fact that we're all amateurs at heart. In his new book, Bunch of Amateurs: A Search for the American Character, he pinpoints the first American to use the amateur label to his advantage: Benjamin Franklin.

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5:57am

Sat May 19, 2012
Fine Art

Barnes Foundation Changes Location, But Little Else

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

After years of bitter controversy, the Barnes Foundation opens the doors of its new location in downtown Philadelphia on Saturday. Since 1922, the collection has been housed in the Philadelphia suburbs, where critics say the collection's owner would have wanted it to stay.
Tom Crane The Barnes Foundation Philadelphia

The Barnes Foundation opens the doors of its new gallery in downtown Philadelphia on Saturday. Its collection of paintings by Matisse, Picasso, Renoir, Cezanne and many more is now hanging in galleries designed to replicate those at the Barnes' old home in suburban Merion. The move follows a decade of bitter debate over the future of this multibillion-dollar collection.

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8:17am

Sat May 12, 2012
Opinion

Can A Change Of Heart Beat The Flip-Flop Charge?

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 2:46 pm

President Barack Obama told ABC this week that he supports gay marriage.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Most Americans give politicians low marks for sincerity and see every decision they reach as a cold, poll-driven calculation. Often enough, it is. Politicians, after all, have asked pollsters where they should spend their summer vacations.

Yet when pundits and interest groups urge politicians to change their minds and they do, they're assailed for flip-flopping.

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8:07am

Sat May 12, 2012
From Our Listeners

Your Letters: On Composition And Evidence

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time now for your letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)

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7:52am

Sat May 12, 2012
NPR Story

Wisc. GOP Gather For Convention On Key Senate Race

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

Republicans in Wisconsin are gathered this weekend for their annual political convention. The delegates could make an endorsement in a key Senate race this year. It is the contest to replace retiring Wisconsin Democrat Herb Kohl.

Now, many believe that George W. Bush's former Health and Human Services Secretary, Tommy Thompson, might essentially breeze through a four-way Republican primary.

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6:19am

Sat May 12, 2012
Author Interviews

'In One Person': A Tangled Gender-Bender

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 9:25 am

Simon & Schuster

The star of John Irving's new novel, In One Person, is Billy Abbott. Billy is a character at the mercy of his own teenage crushes, which are visited upon by a whole repertory company of gender-bending characters.

It's a repertory company in the most literal sense, too. Billy spends many days backstage at the local theater — where gender can also fluctuate and where his family members are regulars.

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4:03am

Sat May 12, 2012
Deceptive Cadence

Roman Totenberg: A Musical Life Remembered

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:54 pm

At 101, Roman Totenberg was teaching students up to the very end of his life.
Suzanne Kreiter The Boston Globe via Getty Images

[Roman Totenberg was a child prodigy who became a violin virtuoso, as well as a master teacher who passed along his command of craft and his love of music — and life — to thousands. He was also the man you wanted to sit next to at the table because he was so funny. Totenberg died this week at the age of 101, surrounded by loving family, friends and students. We asked his daughter, Nina Totenberg, for this remembrance. — Scott Simon]

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10:26am

Sun May 6, 2012
Author Interviews

The 'Marvelous' Rise Of King Henry's Adviser

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 3:57 pm

Hulton Archive Getty Images

When Hilary Mantel's new book opens, the spark has gone out of Henry VIII's second marriage. His roving eye leaves Anne Boleyn and begins to settle on Jane Seymour, another woman at court. The monarch doesn't go to a marriage counselor or divorce lawyer, not when Thomas Cromwell is his chief adviser.

Bring Up the Bodies is the sequel to Wolf Hall, which won the Man Booker Prize and worldwide acclaim. It is also the latest in a planned trilogy about Cromwell.

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1:01pm

Sat May 5, 2012
NPR Story

French Election Marks A Fork In The Road

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 10:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

The French presidential runoff is tomorrow. President Nicolas Sarkozy and his opponent Socialist candidate Francois Hollande represent two different visions for their country.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley sends this report.

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7:11am

Sat May 5, 2012
Remembrances

Adam Yauch Gave Distinct Sound To Genre-Bending Band

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 10:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

A famous trio has lost a member. Whether you knew him as Adam Yauch, Nathanial Hornblower or MCA, he brought a distinct sound to a genre-bending band.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)

BEASTIE BOYS: (Singing) ...if what you get is what you see, c'mon...

SIMON: MCA was a founding member of the Beastie Boys, a band that helped make hip-hop mainstream. Now, before they rapped, the Beastie Boys were just punks.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TIME FOR LIVIN' ")

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7:11am

Sat May 5, 2012
From Our Listeners

Your Letters: A Tale Of Injustice

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 6:13 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time now for your letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF LETTERS THEME MUSIC)

SIMON: The name that kept popping up in our email box this week was Michael Morton. He was the subject of a report last Saturday by NPR's Wade Goodwyn, who told the story of how Mr. Morton was convicted in 1987 of murdering his wife, Christine, near Austin, Texas. He was innocent, but served almost 25 years in prison.

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7:11am

Sat May 5, 2012
Author Interviews

'Bring Up The Bodies': Taking Down Anne Boleyn

Originally published on Sat May 5, 2012 1:01 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

When Hilary Mantel's new book opens, the spark has gone out of Henry the VIII's marriage; second marriage, in fact. Anne Boleyn hasn't given him a son. Now, he finds the sharp remarks she makes that used to charm sometimes come at his expense. His roving eye begins to settle on Jane Seymour, another woman at court. But in Henry's time, a monarch doesn't go to a marriage counselor or divorce lawyer, not when Thomas Cromwell is the king's chief advisor.

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6:37am

Sat May 5, 2012
NPR Story

The Race Is On: Obama Heads To Battleground States

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 10:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

President Obama tried to best the face on yesterday's jobs report. He told students at a Virginia high school that private employers have added more than four million jobs over the last two years, but he acknowledge recovery is not happening fast enough.

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6:37am

Sat May 5, 2012
NPR Story

News Corp. Fallout: The Implication Of Being 'Unfit'

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 10:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This week, the British Parliamentary committee that was convened to investigate accusations of phone hacking and executive misconduct at Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., delivered its findings. And the headlines it created make uncomfortable reading for a media magnate who has been under the microscope for 18 months now.

MPs accused News Corp. as a whole of what they call willful blindness. And they went on to make some further damning observations on Rupert Murdoch's own competency.

Here's Labour Member of Parliament Tom Watson.

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6:37am

Sat May 5, 2012
NPR Story

I Shall 'Scream' At Such A Price Tag

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 10:26 am

One of four versions Edvard Munch made of his masterpiece, The Scream, one of the most recognizable works of art in the world, was auctioned at Sotheby's this week for a record-setting price: $119 million.

9:12am

Sat April 28, 2012
From Our Listeners

Your Letters: Veterans And Record Nostalgia

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 12:22 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time now for Your Letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Many of you were moved by our story about the Soldier Ride, a four-day cycling event organized by the Wounded Warriors Project. Iraq War veteran Sergeant Michael Owens spoke about why he rides.

SERGEANT MICHAEL SULLIVAN: I think it's really important for warriors and veterans like myself to be able to know that we can still do the same things we did before, or new things that we never tried before.

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8:02am

Sat April 28, 2012
Sports

Sports: NBA Playoffs About To Begin

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 12:22 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon, and time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: The NBA playoffs are about to begin. Will LeBron James and the Miami Trio live up to their promise? Will Metta World Peace ever live up to his name? And will Albert Pujols ever live up to his salary?

NPR's Tom Goldman joins us. Morning, Tom.

TOM BOWMAN, BYLINE: Happy opening day of the playoffs day to you, Scott.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

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8:02am

Sat April 28, 2012
Sports

The Woes Washington Baseball Fans

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 12:22 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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6:13am

Sat April 28, 2012
Movies

A Creative Collaboration With A 'Darling Companion'

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 12:22 pm

Beth (Diane Keaton) and her daughter (Elisabeth Moss) rescue an injured dog from the side of the highway. Beth's husband (Kevin Kline) later loses the beloved pet, an event co-writer Meg Kasdan says is inspired by a real-life incident.
Wilson Webb Sony Pictures Classics

Lawrence Kasdan became famous for writing the blockbusters The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark, but he went on to a successful directing career with high-profile films like Body Heat, The Big Chill and Grand Canyon.

His latest film, and his first in nine years, is Darling Companion, which Kasdan wrote with his wife, Meg. The film was her idea.

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6:04am

Sat April 28, 2012
Author Interviews

'The Art Of The Sale': Life's A Pitch

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 12:22 pm

iStockphoto

Salesmen are rarely heroic figures in American culture. They're often shown as slick, unscrupulous charlatans like Ricky Roma in David Mamet's play Glengarry Glen Ross. And then there are sad, defeated characters like Willy Loman in Death Of A Salesman, who shortly before taking his life says, "After all the highways, and the trains, and the appointments, and the years, you end up worth more dead than alive."

Yet sales drive the economy. The cleverest invention or product will disappear — creating no income, no employment — unless someone can sell it.

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6:04am

Sat April 28, 2012
Movie Interviews

Michelle Yeoh: Portraying An Icon In 'The Lady'

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 12:22 pm

Michelle Yeoh plays pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi in The Lady. Yeoh says it was important that the film portrayed Suu Kyi's struggles realistically, including how her 15-year house arrest kept her from her husband and sons.
Cohen Media Group

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters at a recent film premiere that she'd told Aung San Suu Kyi that she was moving from being an icon to being a politician.

The film Clinton saw is The Lady, starring Michelle Yeoh as the pro-democracy activist who spent 15 years under house arrest in Myanmar (also known as Burma), and who won the Nobel Peace Prize before being freed in 2010.

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1:59am

Sat April 28, 2012
Monkey See

Garry Marshall On His 'Happy Days'

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 12:22 pm

Director Garry Marshall and sister, actress-director Penny Marshall, seen here in 2004 when she received her star on the Walk Of Fame.
Vince Bucci Getty Images

Director Garry Marshall has worked on so much popular comedy in his career — television like Happy Days and The Odd Couple, movies like Pretty Woman and Beaches — that something he's done has probably made you laugh. And now he's written a memoir called, fittingly, My Happy Days In Hollywood: A Memoir.

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10:19am

Sat April 21, 2012
Simon Says

Prostitution's Real Casualties Aren't Secret Service

Originally published on Sat April 21, 2012 10:46 am

Six U.S. Secret Service agents have lost their jobs so far after a prostitution scandal that took place at the Hotel Caribe in Cartagena, Colombia, just before President Obama's arrival at the Summit of the Americas conference earlier this month.
Manuel Pedraza AFP/Getty Images

I've been curious about a question I haven't heard in the stories about U.S. Secret Service agents misbehaving before President Obama's arrival at the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia.

Why were world leaders meeting in a place with legalized prostitution?

There might have been a time — after I saw Toulouse-Lautrec's poignant paintings of life in Paris brothels, or Billy Wilder's clever Irma la Douce — when I thought of prostitution as a harmless enterprise between consenting adults.

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7:41am

Sat April 21, 2012
From Our Listeners

A Clarification: No First-Class Flying Here

Originally published on Sat April 21, 2012 10:46 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

A small clarification now: A few weeks ago on this program, Tom Goldman told us that he was about to catch a flight to Denver to cover the NCAA Women's Basketball championships. I joked: By the way, United Airlines, if you're listening, please upgrade Mr. Goldman - our compliments.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: I'm already first-class.

SIMON: In all ways, my friend.

GOLDMAN: Oops, did I say that?

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6:25am

Sat April 21, 2012
Author Interviews

'Steinbeck In Vietnam': A Great Writer's Last Reports

Originally published on Sat April 21, 2012 10:46 am

The last piece of published writing from one of America's greatest writers was a series of letters he sent back from the front lines of war at the age of 64.

John Steinbeck's reports shocked readers and family so much that they've never been reprinted — until now.

Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962 for a life's work writing about those who had been roughed up by history — most notably his Depression-era novels, Of Mice And Men and The Grapes of Wrath. Four years later, Steinbeck left for Vietnam to cover the war firsthand.

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6:25am

Sat April 21, 2012
Theater

Blair Underwood On Stanley, Stella And 'Streetcar'

Originally published on Sat April 21, 2012 10:46 am

Stanley (Blair Underwood) and his sister-in-law, Blanche DuBois (Nicole Ari Parker), spar while Stanley's wife, Stella (Daphne Rubin-Vega), sits outside.
Ken Howard

There's a lot of juicy material for an actor in Tennessee Williams' landmark drama A Streetcar Named Desire. Sex, booze, class, betrayal — all set in the seething French Quarter of 1940s New Orleans.

A new Broadway revival has added another set of layers to the play: The multiracial production stars Blair Underwood in one of the most iconic roles in American theater — Stanley Kowalski.

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