Jody Avirgan

The Brian Lehrer Show

Jody Avirgan appears in the following:

BL Show Listener Chorus - Give Peace A Chance

Friday, October 08, 2010

UPDATE: It happened! Listen here.

Today, live on-air, we're going to try a group sing-along to John Lennon's "Give Peace A Chance." We'll select a few callers and have them sing one verse each, and all joining in on the chorus. For now, here are the lyrics to the ...

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Comments [8]

"Take Comptroll" Visual Challenge

Friday, October 08, 2010

Art has the power to change the world. As part of the "Get DiNapoli and Wilson to Say 'Take Comptroll'" movement, we want you to submit your "Comptroll" posters. We'll provide you with links to official pictures of the candidates, and some ideas for how to make them spiffy. All you have to do is use the phrase "take comptroll" somewhere in your image. Once you've created your work of art, upload it below, or post a link to it in the comments page. We'll feature our favorites here and on facebook.

Maybe it's a fake DiNapoli motivational poster.....or a Wilson play on the popular "I'm With Coco" meme...

Find Images: DiNapoli Flickr Stream | Wilson Flickr Stream

Resources: Obamicon Me | Motivational Poster | Online Picture Editor

And while you're at it, take a listen to our very own Azi Paybarah's remix of the recent comptroller debate. Who makes a remix of a comptroller debate in his spare time? Azi does.

Please adhere to the spirit of the Take Comptroll project in making your images. We will not post any images that are offensive or disparaging of either candidate. Duh.


The Mix: Voices From The Week of September 27th

Friday, October 01, 2010

Welcome to It's A Free Country's The Mix, where we take some of the notable clips and other voices found on WNYC this week and mix 'em up. Here's what we've got on tap. Voices are in blue, connections are bold, links to explore.

The clip of the week has got to be the heated confrontation caught on tape between Carl Paladino and Post reporter Fred Dicker. It sent the New York political community into overdrive, with Governor David Paterson weighing in the next morning. The Dicker vs. Paladino event took place on Wednesday night, eclipsing the week's earlier big news - Rick Lazio officially declined the nomination of the Conservative Party and dropped out of the gubernatorial contest. Andrew Cuomo tried to sieze the moment and pick up Lazio supporters in the general election, drawing a "stark comparison" between him and Paladino. On the Brian Lehrer Show, Newt Gingrich tried to draw a stark comparison between his ideas and those of Paul Krugman, part of a larger tax debate that pitted traditional liberals and conservatives against one another. Another hot button debate that drew a more unexpected pairing was immigration, with both Michael Bloomberg and Rupert Murdoch testifying in favor of a more streamlined path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, something considered a core Democratic agenda item. And, because it's likely to be the best audio of the election season, we end with a repeat of the Dicker/Paladino confrontation.


Today's Comments Roundup

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lot's of interesting comments, on-air and online, today at It's A Free Country. Check out some highlights, then visit the comments page for each conversation to see more and add your voice.

Comments [1]

The Mix: Voices From The Week of September 20th

Friday, September 24, 2010

Welcome to It's A Free Country's The Mix, where we take some of the notable Politics Bites clips and other voices found on WNYC this week and mix 'em up. Here's what we've got on tap. Voices are in blue, connections are in bold.

On the Leonard Lopate Show, Gail Collins of the New York Times talked with Miles O'Brien about Delaware candidate Christine O'Donnell, whose past dabbles in witchcraft came back to haunt her this week. Gail thinks the voters of Delaware have a right to know if she's "crazy." Crazy is exactly what it takes to run for Governor of California, says Dan Walters, political columnist for the Sacramento Bee. Candidates may be crazy, but it's anger that Mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks is driving this election. He appeared at an event alongside Rick Lazio, endorsing the candidate in his race against Carl Paladino. That race took a surprising turn earlier this week when a Quinnipiac poll showed only a six point lead for Lazio, something that Quinnipiac polling Director Maurice Carroll thought might be due to mistaken perceptions. The close polling drew larger attention to the race, and Newt Gingrich  even weighed in with an official Paladino endorsement on the Brian Lehrer Show. But two subsequent polls, explained Siena's Steve Greenberg, showed a much larger lead for Cuomo. That said, Carl Paladino continued to hammer away at his economic plan throughout the week, trying to close the gap. Finally, an It's A Free Country palette cleanser: listener John from Ridgefield Park, NJ the Brian Lehrer Show, urging us to find some common ground.


True or False: Money Is the Root Of Everything That’s Wrong In Politics

Thursday, September 23, 2010

When you have millionaires at war with fundraisers in an election season, with just a little scratching, money starts to come out of the woodwork. WNYC's been covering a gaping loo...

Comments [14]

The Mix: Voices From The Week of September 13th

Friday, September 17, 2010

Welcome to It's A Free Country's The Mix, where we take some of the notable Politics Bites clips and other voices found on WNYC this week and mix 'em up. Here's what we've got on tap. Voices are in blue, connections are in bold.

It was Primary Day in New York, and in NYC one of the big stories was the new paper ballots and voting machines -- designers Milton Glaser (the man behind the I [[heart]] NY logo) and Charles Blow of the New York Times were not fans...but by the time all those ballots were counted, the winners were decided, including a defiant Charlie Rangel, Democratic Attorney General nominee Eric Schneiderman, and the new kid on the block, Carl Paladino. Paladino was part of a big night for the Tea Party, which notched victories across the country. That movement is the subject of a new book by New York Times National Correspondent Kate Zernike, who sees parallels in the movement to the 2008 Obama/Biden campaign. Joe Biden was quick to remind his '08 supporters that they would need to be active in what looks to be like a very interesting fall contest.


Your New Ballot Stories: Frustration and Confusion at the Polls

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

We've been asking you to send in your primary day reports, particularly your experience with the new ballot design. You tell us your stories when you text BALLOT to 30644 and we call you back.

Your reactions so far have been mixed: Some people found the new paper ballots simpler - Jim Petzke said it was as "easy as eating a piece of pie."  We had lots of reports of nearly empty polling stations and people who were "in and out in five minutes."

But many of you reported problems. Organisational issues at the polling stations included missing ballots, broken optical scanners and long lines. Wayne Alan Blood wrote to our Facebook page to say that he had been "unceremoniously turned away" because the ballots never arrived.

There were lots of complaints about the paper ballots themselves. Voters called the print "tiny", and the design confusing and difficult to understand.

But the most outrage was voiced over what many of our listeners felt was a lack of ballot secrecy: Meryl Salvinger said poll workers told her to scan her ballot face up "which seems kind of crazy, with a poll worker standing standing right there, looking at it. I didn't really care, but that could be a problem for some people." Another caller, Greg Hofer, was livid:

"My voting booth was two pieces of manila file folders taped together at the end of the poll workers table. Anyone could have walked behind me and seen how I voted. In the forty years that I have voted, and I have never missed an election, this is the first time I felt exposed ... and I was absolutely appalled."

And it's not just the IAFC crowd that is finding trouble, Mayor Bloomberg has called the voting troubles a "royal screw-up."

Below is a running list of the reports we've received, updated throughout the day...

Comments [31]

The Mix: Voices From The Week of September 6th

Friday, September 10, 2010

Welcome to It's A Free Country's The Mix, where we take some of the notable Politics Bites clips from the week and mix 'em up. Here's what we've got on tap. Voices are in blue, connections are in bold.

Daisy Khan on the controversy over the Park51 mosque and cultural center, a development that NY gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio opposes. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand supports Park51, but her opponent in the Democratic primary, Gail Goode is mounting a campaign to unseat the first-term Senator. Another candidate looking to bring new voices to the table is Kevin Powell, in NY's 10th congressional district, against long-time Congressman Ed Towns. The Powell-Towns race is one of many interesting races this Fall that are bringing unknown candidates into the spotlight, a phenomenon that got New York Times columnist Gail Collins thinking (see: Jan Brewer's 16 seconds of silence).

[[music: kid loco and sing with voices]]


Daisy Khan: Reaction to Park51 'Un-American,' Muslim Community At Risk

Friday, September 10, 2010

This is the fate of the Muslim community, you know. Our entire future is at risk here. So many mosques have been under attack since this project was announced.  And the Muslim communi...

Comments [57]

"Time To Speak Up": Former Adviser Ken Adelman Calls on Bush to Support Islamic Cultural Center and Mosque

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Speaking on today's Brian Lehrer Show, former Bush and Reagan adviser Ken Adelman called on President Bush to break his silence and come out in support of the proposed Park51 cultural center and mosque development in Lower Manhattan. Adelman said "I'm a little disappointed in President Bush, that he hasn't come would be a wonderful time to reemerge on the political state and to say that after 9/11 [he] was for acceptance of Islamic leadership that was moderate and responsible in the American way, and that [he still] believes that now."

When asked by Brian if he thought this, and not other matters such as taxes or the war in Afghanistan, was the issue on which Bush should break his silence, Adelman said "I do...this is an issue on which he has been identified with in the past, a moral issue. It would be going against members of his own tribe, his own party, his own ideology. I think it’s especially important at times to show that kind of political courage."

Expand this post to read the full transcript and hear audio of the exchange.

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Map Your Moves: Data Visualization Challenge Submissions

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

As part of our 10 Questions that Count census project, we asked you to Map Your Moves by filling out a survey where you've lived over the last ten years and why you moved. Then we asked all of you graphic designers, mappers, statisticians or any other kind of data visualization gurus, to play with the data and make the information beautiful. (More information about the Map Your Moves challenge here)

Here are the the submissions we've received. Feel free to add your thoughts below. Any favorites? Learn anything new? Share your feedback!

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Comments [28]

Our Favorite "I Quit" Movie Scenes

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

In light of the Jet Blue attendant's creative walking off the job, we've compiled some of our favorite "I Quit" movie scenes. [[Note: Some (all?) of these contain mature language.]] Be sure to add your scene suggestions in the comments section below, and add tell your own quitting stories at our show page.

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Comments [15]

Listener Suggestions: Brian's Vacation Playlist

Thursday, July 22, 2010

On Thursday, July 22, listeners called in to give Brian suggestions for music to listen to and books to read on his summer vacation. Here are some of the suggested songs played on the show. (Expand)

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Comments [5]

Map Your Moves: Data Visualization Challenge

Thursday, July 22, 2010

→This project is now closed, but you can see the submissions we received here!

As part of our 10 Questions that Count census project, we asked you to Map Your Moves - where you've lived over the last ten years and why you moved. Now, it's time for you to make that information beautiful. 

If you're a graphic designer, mapper, statistician or any other kind of data visualization guru, we're offering the raw data for free download to play with. (What is data viz? Some infoYou have until Sunday, August 22nd to work with the data and present it in whatever neat way you see fit. Be it a map, a chart, an image, it's up to you! Anything visual goes.

Download the data (for import, .xls, .csv, .xml, or .txt) here!

When you're done, email with your file attached or a link to where you've posted it online.

The favorite entry (as determined by WNYC producers and the BL Show audience) will be posted on our site, appear on air, and possibly more.

For more information and some basic guidelines check after the break. Thanks for participating, spread the word, and happy visualizing!

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Guineas, Ghanas, and Guyanas: A Primer

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, and Guyana. Often confusing in both geography and pronunciation. First, here's an online thread that tries to answer the question "Why are so many countries named "Guinea"? And, if you have advice on how to pronounce each country, post it in the comments below!

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Comments [3]

Overdraft Changes and Your Bank Account

Friday, June 18, 2010

Brian Lehrer producer Jody Avirgan talks about some confusing mail he's been getting. Then, Gail Hillebrand, senior attorney for Consumers Union, discusses the coming changes to bank overdraft charges, what it means for debit cards, and other credit card legislation in the works. Then Nessa Feddis, retail banking expert at the American Bankers Association provides an industry perspective.

Have you been getting letters or calls about changes to your checking account? How have they been phrased, are they clear, have you acted on them? Let us know!

Comments [23]

The Gulf Oil Spill: How You Can Help

Friday, June 04, 2010

In the aftermath of the Asian tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti, the public was flooded with messages and options of how to help.  But where can you send money to help post oil-spill?  Here’s a list of organizations on the front lines of supporting locals impacted by the disaster as well as efforts to clean up the mess and protect against environmental damage over the long term.





+ Environmental

 + Social

*starred orgs are recommended by Charity Navigator

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Live Chat: President Obama in NYC

Thursday, April 22, 2010

On the morning of Thursday, April 22 President Obama be in New York City to deliver remarks on Wall Street Reform at Cooper Union. You can listen to the speech live online at (Listen Here. Stream goes live at 11:55)

Starting at noon, join WNYC's Brian Lehrer, Heidi Moore of The Big Money, and fellow WNYC listeners for a live online chat.

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BL Show Winter Mixtape

Friday, February 26, 2010

It's a snow day, it's cold outside, and it's time to listen to some good winter music. We want your ideas for your favorite snow or winter songs - tracks that are good for curling up ...
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