20 Year News Quiz

Friday, September 25, 2009

A 20-year news quiz looks at some of the biggest stories that Brian has covered - or missed while on vacation - since 1989. Guest quizmasters include WNYC President Laura Walker; Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page; actress Rosie Perez; Wayne Barrett of the Village Voice; author Sarah Vowell; Brian's long-lost cousin Jim Lehrer; and more!


Wayne Barrett, Jim Lehrer, Clarence Page, Rosie Perez, Sarah Vowell and Laura R. Walker

Comments [20]

Adrian from NYC

Love you! Love your Show!
I believe Steve Irwin was working with Sting Rays (not Alligators)!


Sep. 25 2009 01:36 PM
Yazmin from Norwalk, CT

Hey Brian! Congrats on 20 years! Your show is my favorite radio show ever. I think you should have had some City Year members in your audience! They come from all over the country to NYC to serve their communities, are college age, and would have had a lot to add to the conversation at the end of the show about the state of the world and the coming 20 years. Next time, please think to include City Year and other Americorps members. It's the easiest way to get informed, civically engaged, put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is young people to participate with your wonderful show.

Congrats again!

Sep. 25 2009 12:02 PM
Caitlin from Jersey City

I wonder if the same things are said now about the internet creating isolation and destroying human interaction were said about the telephone when it first became wide-spread, too.

Sep. 25 2009 11:58 AM
hjs from 11211


i agree, time for a new theme!

Sep. 25 2009 11:55 AM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from "McLean, VA"


...I guess all that “Move On” type money has kept you guys flush, but did it "BUY" your bias?

And addition:

PS - Brian doesn't go on as many vacations as Bush or the 'Bama. The difference between Bush and Obama is that Bush went to Waco mostly on his own dime, while Obama spends millions of tax payer dollars on multiple whim trips for his dis-barred wife and his kids who are constantly being pulled out of their expensive and elite private school. (Isn't that a form of child abuse?) Lol.

Sep. 25 2009 11:43 AM
mbk from nyc

The 2 Lehrer at once-The 2 true rock starts of news!!! Happy Anniversay Brian.

Sep. 25 2009 11:43 AM
Jason from Midtown

the blackout was august of 2003, no? aug 14 if my memory serves correctly. not sept, as it was asked.

Sep. 25 2009 11:38 AM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from "McLean, VA"

Can you ask Laura why "on air democracy" has decreased so much over the past few years? You take fewer calls and Lenny takes very few calls -- a real slight to your listeners and contributors.

The balanced nature of your show has also radically declined over the past few years.
This has not been a good thing.

Can you also ask Laura why WNYC will not accept funds from “not for profits” if the station feels that those groups are not "PC?" I offered Vince G. a yearly $50,000 per year contribution with an on-air credit to shooting sports federations including those involving women and the disabled, yet the money was rejected.

That’s a lot of money for a cash starved station. The station shouldn't get Gov’t funds and beg for money on one hand when it rejects large donors with the other. I guess all that “Move On” type money has kept you guys flush, but did it by your bias?

PS - it’s amazing how uninformed your “20 something’s” are. When I was twenty I knew almost everything my Dad and Grand Dad’s knew when they were twenty. Perhaps this is the product of our “anti-historical” culture or just that too many kids have had kids and grew up without parents or without parents that know anything about America or history. Like Barry Obama’s upbringing.

Sep. 25 2009 11:29 AM
plp from bkn

Rosie, the voice made for nails on chalk board.

Sep. 25 2009 11:27 AM
Robert from NYC

Oh Rosie pleeeeeeezzzzz, horrible theme music. Sorry but it is.

Sep. 25 2009 11:23 AM
Bill Mullen from New Rochelle

1) Congrats Brian; 20 years of excellence is pretty damn good.

2) More Rosie, she is bright magic on radio.

3) Ask Wayne Barett how the "permenent government" has evolved over the 20 years...

4) Another 20 please.

5) Come to the "Tom Paine" Colonial fair, 10/3/09.

Sep. 25 2009 11:20 AM
Pam from nyc

The frequency was 810, Kenneth! (Not 830, Laura Walker.)

Who remembers what event I reference with the sentence that opens my (this) comment?

Sep. 25 2009 11:19 AM
Karen from NYC


I didn't listen to, or even know about "On the Line." A couple of weeks after 9/11, however,after listening to your show on FM, I spoke to a friend and referred to "that great guy who is on WNYC-FM." She replied, "Of course -- you mean Brian Lehrer!"

You have been part of my family's morning routine ever since -- we listen while commuting and, when possible, at work. Our son, who was only 12 at the time, has since become a WNYC and "Brian" listener. We don't know what we'd do without your thoughtful, intelligent, creative, constructive questions and commentary.

Congratulations, and may you still be on the air when our furture grandchildren are 20!

Sep. 25 2009 11:18 AM
maryann Stewart from nyc

the exxon valdez happened in 1986 not 1989

love your show

Sep. 25 2009 11:17 AM
markBrown from

Brian: 1990 event.

The beginning of the 100 years bush war...
(Bush 1 and Bush 2)

Sep. 25 2009 11:17 AM
hjs from 11211

please go back to a 3 hour format!

Sep. 25 2009 11:14 AM
Justice from Brooklyn

Love the show, NOT loving this hoary preamble with Laura Walker. You're good cause you DONT engage in that sort of thing, usually.

Sep. 25 2009 11:13 AM
Kit from East Village

Congratulations Brian! Anyway we could hear some of the music the show opened with in the early 90's?

Sep. 25 2009 11:04 AM
markBrown from

Interestinging Show Brian.

Been listening for at least 15 years.

Michael Moore:
I think we need to make GM pay for destroying the light rail and trolley system in the USA in the 1940's and 1950's,heh heh,
by making them produce LIGHT rail and trolley systems for the country instead of 80% of the auto production currently made.

Bob Henely/M Moore:
Education and TRAINING is the key.
I proposed (over 3 yrs ago) a Mandatory training/service program between HS and college. somewhere between 2 and 3 years, and it will be skills based.

(look here:

With regard to schools (last called in michael's segment:
we need to follow Jeffery Canada's example and have WRAP around services for all parents starting at 6 months. (listen to her interview with him HERE:

see here:

Regarding transportation:
Robert Moses destroyed NY.
We need to bring the NYC transit system to LI,
and incorporate MASS transit to other areas too.

Regarding transportation:
we need to have a new 'eisenhower highway plan'
to build 4 tracks of rail (heavy/light) down EVERY single highway in America.
This is TRAINING, this is EMPLOYMENT, this is GREEN transportation, etc.
see here for a overview of possibilities.

Sep. 25 2009 11:01 AM
hjs from 11211

BL, congrats on 20 years, here's to 20 more with u !

Sep. 25 2009 09:19 AM

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