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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5:23am

Sat September 29, 2012
Music Interviews

Frankie Valli On Hair Products And Finding His Falsetto

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 7:31 am

The Four Seasons pose for a portrait circa 1963 in New York City. They are, clockwise from the top, Nick Massi, Tommy DeVito, Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

5:14am

Sat September 29, 2012
Deceptive Cadence

Leonard Bernstein's 'Kaddish' Symphony: A Crisis Of Faith

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 2:46 pm

The traditional Jewish Kaddish prayer gets turned on its head in Leonard Bernstein's Symphony No. 3.
Fethi Belaid AFP/Getty Images

I can't think of anything I loved more than talking to Leonard Bernstein. Or, more accurately, listening to him talk — about music or any topic under the sun. I remember a long discourse we had about one of my favorite books, Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain, and Bernstein's summarizing statement: "Well, of course, every author spends his whole life writing the same book."

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5:11am

Sat September 29, 2012
Author Interviews

'Listening In' To JFK's Secret White House Recordings

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 6:41 pm

Listening In, a new book and CD set, includes more than 260 hours of transcribed conversations and 2.5 hours of audio from inside the Kennedy White House.
Evening Standard Getty Images

In the spring of 1963, as the U.S. was mired in conflicts with Vietnam and Cuba and the Soviet Union, President John F. Kennedy called his old friend David Hackett to express his frustration at the U.S. men's ice hockey team — and their miserable record overseas.

JFK: Dave, I noticed that in the paper this morning that the Swedish team beat the American hockey team 17-2.
Hackett: Yeah, I saw that.
JFK: Christ! Who are we sending over there? Girls?

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4:55am

Sat September 29, 2012
Around the Nation

L.A. Sheriff Rebuked For Alleged Inmate Abuse

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 2:23 pm

County Sheriff Lee Baca faces what may be the toughest fight of his 14-year political career.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Los Angeles County's sheriff is under fire. A blue-ribbon commission issued a scathing report Friday accusing Sheriff Lee Baca of failing to address long-standing allegations of inmate abuse in his jails. The accusations include deputies beating inmates, cover-ups and a persistent culture of violence.

The sheriff has been able to weather many storms during his 14-year tenure, but this may be the toughest fight of his political career.

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4:52am

Sat September 29, 2012
Europe

Greeks Battle To 'Survive' Amid New Budget Proposal

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 10:25 pm

People with disabilities take part in a march against the government's new austerity measures in central Athens on Thursday.
Petros Giannakouris AP

The Greek government is set to present a new austerity budget on Monday that's supposed to please the institutions that are lending billions to the country to save it from bankruptcy.

But the cuts also come at a time when a deep recession has dragged into its fifth year. More than a third of businesses in Greece have closed, and nearly a quarter of Greeks are unemployed.

Busking For The Next Generation

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9:35am

Sat September 22, 2012
Simon Says

The Emoticon Turns 30, Seems Happy About It :-)

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 10:33 am

The emoticon turns 30 this week.
iStockphoto.com

The emoticon, punctuation to depict a facial expression, began 30 years ago this week. Using three keystrokes, the colon, dash and parenthesis, to suggest a smile may not be a great scientific advance, like the coronary stent or computer chip. But the emoticon has been simple, useful and enduring.

There had been previous hints of emoticons. A newspaper transcript of Abraham Lincoln drawing a laugh in 1862 follows it with a semi-colon and parentheses, but that may have simply been a printer's typo.

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8:55am

Sat September 22, 2012
It's All Politics

There's Still Time For Romney To Make An Effective Case

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 9:35 am

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign event at the Cox Pavilion Friday in Las Vegas.
David Becker Getty Images

Despite a series of political fumbles, Mitt Romney is "still very much in the game," according to political strategist Steve Schmidt. But, he says, it will take some work.

Schmidt served as John McCain's senior strategist in the 2008 election and helped George W. Bush get reelected in 2004. He spoke with Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon about the Romney campaign's stresses.

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7:23am

Sat September 22, 2012
Education

Duncan On Chicago: 'When Adults Fight, Kids Lose'

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 9:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Chicago teachers voted to end their strike this week, the first in 25 years, and came back to class. It brought an end to a heated confrontation between leaders of the Chicago teachers union and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who repeated this phrase time and again during the strike.

MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL: This was a strike of choice and it's a wrong choice for the children. Really, it was a choice.

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7:23am

Sat September 22, 2012
From Our Listeners

What Clint Eastwood Didn't Say

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 9:35 am

Host Scott Simon notes a correction: the misattribution last week of a quote from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

6:21am

Sat September 22, 2012
Around the Nation

U.S. Border Industry Grows As Immigration Slows

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 9:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

It's been more than a quarter century since the federal government enacted any immigration legislation which wasn't about enforcement and over that time, the government has spend hundreds of billions of dollars on fences, aircrafts, detention centers and agents. NPR's Ted Robbins looks at what taxpayer money has bought and why it's not likely to go away, even as budgets shrink and illegal immigration lessens.

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6:21am

Sat September 22, 2012
Presidential Race

Nev. Voters Scrutinize Candidates' Economic Messages

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 9:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax returns yesterday after months of pressure, and this week President Obama and his opponent sparred over remarks secretly recorded at a recent Romney fundraiser. Mr. Romney was in Nevada again yesterday. Both candidates have spent a lot of time in that battleground state. NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea talked to voters in Reno.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: The battle for Nevada will likely be settled in Washoe County, which is home to Reno.

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6:21am

Sat September 22, 2012
Sports

Baseball Breakdown: What's Left In MLB

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 9:35 am

Only 12 days left of Major League Baseball. Host Scott Simon looks at the numbers with baseball historian Bill James.

6:21am

Sat September 22, 2012
Africa

Labor Unrest In S. African Mines Spreads

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 9:35 am

In South Africa, thousands of mineworkers have embarked on industrial action that began with a deadly pay strike by platinum workers. They've agreed a wage deal with their management, this week, but the labor unrest is spreading to other platinum and gold mines in an industry that's the engine of South Africa's economy. NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton discusses the repercussions with host Scott Simon.

6:08am

Sat September 22, 2012
NPR Story

Obama, Ryan Pitch Medicare Plans To Older Voters

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 9:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Both campaigns tried to appeal to older voters yesterday. President Obama and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan addressed thousands of members of the AARP in New Orleans. Changes to Medicare and Social Security topped the agenda for both, but NPR's Ina Jaffee reports, there was more to these voters reactions to the candidates.

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6:08am

Sat September 22, 2012
NPR Story

Warring Political Ads: One Community's Experience

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 9:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

If you live in a swing state, the political ads on TV right now are inescapable, and they're only going to get more intense in the seven weeks before Election Day. NPR's Ari Shapiro wanted to see the impact that all this advertising's having on one community. He's been in Colorado Springs for the last week reporting a pair of stories that will air on Morning Edition and All Things Considered on Monday. Ari joins us now. Thanks so much for being with us.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Hi, Scott.

SIMON: How deep and profound is this impact?

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