NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday

Saturdays, 7am - 9am
Scott Simon

Saturday mornings are made for Weekend Edition Saturday, the program wraps up the week's news and offers a mix of analysis and features on a wide range of topics, including arts, sports, entertainment, and human interest stories. The two-hour program is hosted by NPR's Peabody Award-winning Scott Simon.

Drawing on his experience in covering 10 wars and stories in all 50 states and seven continents, Simon brings a humorous, sophisticated and often moving perspective to each show. He is as comfortable having a conversation with a major world leader as he is talking with a Hollywood celebrity or the guy next door.

Weekend Edition Saturday has a unique and entertaining roster of other regular contributors. Marin Alsop, conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, talks about music. Daniel Pinkwater, one of the biggest names in children's literature, talks about and reads stories with Simon. Financial journalist Joe Nocera follows the economy. Howard Bryant of EPSN.com and NPR's Tom Goldman chime in on sports. Keith Devlin, of Stanford University, unravels the mystery of math, and Will Grozier, a London cabbie, talks about good books that have just been released, and what well-read people leave in the back of his taxi. Simon contributes his own award-winning essays, which are sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant.

Weekend Edition Saturday is heard on NPR Member stations across the United States, and around the globe on NPR Worldwide. The conversation between the audience and the program staff continues throughout the social media world.

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4:28am

Sat January 26, 2013
Simon Says

'Ebony' Editor Began Life Black In Nazi Germany

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 4:36 pm

Hans Massaquoi told his story in Destined to Witness: Growing up Black in Nazi Germany. The former managing editor of Ebony magazine died on his 87th birthday last Saturday.
Matthew P. D'Agostino AP

The proudest moment of Hans Massaquoi's boyhood was when his babysitter sewed a swastika on his sweater. He was a 7-year-old boy in Hamburg who wanted to be part of the excitement of the times he saw. But when his mother got home, she snipped off the swastika.

He also wanted to join the Hitler Youth. "They had cool uniforms," Massaquoi wrote years later, "and they did exciting things — camping, parades, playing drums."

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4:27am

Sat January 26, 2013
It's All Politics

Obama Administration Takes Gun Control Fight Outside Washington

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 4:36 pm

Vice President Joe Biden participates in a round-table discussion on gun violence at Virginia Commonwealth University with Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., on Friday. The panelists included people who worked on gun safety after the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting.
Steve Helber AP

The Obama administration is taking its push for gun legislation outside of the Beltway — possibly in a nod to the obstacles any gun control bills will face in Washington.

On Friday, Vice President Joe Biden held a round-table discussion in Richmond, Va., speaking with people who worked on gun safety after the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting.

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4:27am

Sat January 26, 2013
It's All Politics

For GOP Comeback, Leaders Urge Stepped-Up Outreach

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 4:36 pm

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, shown at the Republican National Convention in August, has been re-elected to another two-year term.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

In their first big party gathering since Election Day, Republican leaders from around the country met in Charlotte, N.C., this week.

The GOP is promising a great deal of change in advance of the next election, but one area where there will be no change for the party is in its leadership. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus was elected to another two-year term.

In his acceptance speech, he cited a simple reason why Republicans failed to win the White House and lost seats in the House and Senate in November.

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1:03am

Sat January 26, 2013
Music News

The Composer Who Tested Fighter Planes And Partied With Sinatra

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 4:36 pm

Jimmy Van Heusen with Frank Sinatra in the 1950s. Van Heusen wrote dozens of songs for the crooner and became Sinatra's close friend and confidant.
Courtesy of Burns Media Productions

You've never heard of Jimmy Van Heusen? Well, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers has. You certainly know many of his songs, says Brook Babcock, Van Heusen's grandnephew and president of his publishing company.

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1:03am

Sat January 26, 2013
Music Interviews

Petra Haden Covers Classic Film Scores With A Single Voice

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 4:36 pm

Petra Haden's new album is titled Petra Goes to the Movies.
Courtesy of the artist

Petra Haden had a problem when she was a child: "I remember watching Looney Tunes cartoons and having the music stuck in my head," the singer and violinist says.

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4:38am

Sat January 19, 2013
Books

For Justice Sotomayor, Books Unlocked Imagination

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 6:13 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has a new autobiography out about her life and her career in law. Earlier this week, we broadcast portions of her interview with NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg. Today, Nina talks to the justice about the role that books have played in her life.

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4:38am

Sat January 19, 2013
Politics

House GOP Backs Off Debt Ceiling Demands

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 6:13 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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4:38am

Sat January 19, 2013
Politics

Is A Fresh Start In Washington Possible?

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 6:13 am

Host Scott Simon talks with NPR's Mara Liasson about whether the Obama administration and Congressional Republicans can find some common ground and overcome the political gridlock that characterized much of the president's first term.

1:03am

Sat January 19, 2013
Music News

Jin, 'The Chinese Kid Who Raps,' Grows Up

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 6:25 pm

After a failed career at home in the U.S., the Chinese-American rapper Jin found an unexpected second chance at stardom on the other side of the world.
Louis Trinh Courtesy of artist

1:03am

Sat January 19, 2013
Music Interviews

A Bagpipe-Slinging Spaniard Finds A Home In New York Jazz

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 1:18 pm

On the new album Migrations, Cristina Pato plays the gaita, a bagpipe from her native region of Galicia in northwest Spain.
Courtesy of the artist

Cristina Pato is a jazz pianist from Spain who also plays flute and sings. But on her new album, Migrations, there's a striking sound not often heard in jazz: a bagpipe. Pato has been playing the traditional gaita (pronounced "GY-tah"), a version of the bagpipe from her native region of Galicia, since she was 4 years old.

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9:29am

Sat January 12, 2013
Simon Says

Cheating Might Buy Home Runs, But No Hall Of Fame

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 12:23 pm

The Baseball Hall of Fame is a tourist attraction, not a papal conclave. And the people who cast votes for the Hall are sportswriters, not the College of Cardinals.

But there was something momentous this week when the Baseball Writers Association elected no one to the Hall of Fame. Not Roger Clemens, who won a record seven Cy Young Awards. Not Barry Bonds, who hit a record 762 home runs. Not Sammy Sosa, who hit 60 or more home runs in a season three times.

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7:25am

Sat January 12, 2013
Simon Says

Baseball Hall Of Fame Snub Draws The Line

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 8:22 am

There was something momentous this week when the Baseball Writers Association elected no one to the Hall of Fame. Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon remarks on the rebuke, rare in a sport where bad behavior is routine.

5:39am

Sat January 12, 2013
NPR Story

A Nightmarish Week For Boeing's Dreamliner

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 11:08 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Of course, this last week has been kind of a nightmare for Boeing and its new 787 Dreamliner. In three separate incidents in as many days, airline carriers reported problems with brakes, with fuel leaks and a battery fire. The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced a comprehensive review of the new plane. Joining us now to talk about Boeing's new 787 is Joe Nocera, op-ed columnist for The New York Times, and our man on finance and other matters. Joe, thanks very much for being with us.

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5:39am

Sat January 12, 2013
NPR Story

What Would Obama Do (If There's No Debt Ceiling Deal)?

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 11:08 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

You might've chuckled a bit this week, if you heard about the trillion-dollar platinum coin plan, to perhaps address Washington, D.C.'s debt ceiling stalemate. But it will certainly be no laughing matter if the U.S. Congress refuses to raise the borrowing limit, and the U.S. government defaults on its debt. Global financial markets would likely plummet.

NPR's John Ydstie reports on some of the options the president has if he and Congress cannot reach an agreement.

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5:39am

Sat January 12, 2013
NPR Story

Making Sense Of The NFL Playoffs

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 11:08 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: In the NFL playoffs this weekend, will the Falcons, Seahawks and Ravens soar? Will the Broncos buck, the 49ers strike gold, the Patriots run up the flag, the Texans remember, and the Packers pack up and go home? How many ridiculous phrases can I work into a sentence?

NPR's Tom Goldman joins us now to help us make sense of all of 'em. Tom, thanks for being with us.

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