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Weekend Edition-Saturday

Saturdays, 7am - 9am
  • Hosted by 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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And now it's time for sports.

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When I first got to know Neil Sheehan, he was going through trying times. We were war correspondents of different generations and I was in awe of the intrepid reporter of the Vietnam conflict, first for United Press International, then The New York Times. He was the first to get his hands on the leak of official documents that became known as the Pentagon Papers, which revealed how U.S. government officials had lied to the American people about the Vietnam War.

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A summer's getaway on a picturesque loch in Scotland in your own wee cabin surrounded by festive families - sounds idyllic, no? But what if there's the kind of rain Sarah Moss describes in her new novel, "Summerwater"?

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The very first seconds of HBO's new documentary on Tiger Woods gives glimpses of the expectations piled on him from birth, really, by his father, Earl.

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The copyright on F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby expired on the first stroke of 2021 and the book entered the public domain.

Visual Arts Thrived In A Tumultuous 2020

Jan 2, 2021

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Food banks have seen demand climb dramatically this year. Eric Cooper of the San Antonio Food Bank talks about how additional federal dollars could make a difference to his clients.

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Sacha Pfeiffer speaks with director Bryan Fogel about his new film, The Dissident, which chronicles the life and death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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Protests for racial justice and the pandemic changed the face of sports in 2020. Many changes will survive into 2021.

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And now it's time for sports.

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A Gay Veteran Remembers Serving In Silence

Dec 26, 2020

Decades before openly gay Americans were legally allowed to serve in the military, Joseph Patton, a gay man, served in silence.

Patton, who died earlier this year at 83 years old, sat down for a StoryCorps interview in 2019 to talk about a time in his life that brought him both pride and pain.

He enlisted in the Navy in 1955 at age 17, keeping his sexuality a secret for the entirety of his service.

"My dad told me going in the service would help me be a man," Patton said.

But his reasons for joining the Navy were a bit more lighthearted than that.

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2020 Book Concierge: Books For Foodies

Dec 19, 2020

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NPR's Book Concierge has nearly 400 recommendations from staff and critics. I give to you this holiday season a little assistance to find a book for you or a loved one. Today, some ideas for books about food from four of our colleagues.

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I finally get to say, it's time for sports.

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SIMON: One hundred years after the Negro Leagues were founded, those superb ballplayers finally get major league status. But is that an empty honor?

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all o'er the house
Stirred the clicking — most frantic — of every mouse
All the stockings were hung by the TV with flair
But children played on apps in their rooms without care
Sneaking smart-phones and laptops right into their beds
While visions of going viral danced in their heads
When out on the street there arose such a clatter
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter
When what to my wandering eyes did appear
An electric sleigh, without any reindeer

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And, no matter the news, it's time for sports.

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Another holiday tradition will be missed because of the pandemic this year. "The Nutcracker" is not being performed before many live audiences in America.

Not by the New York City Ballet, The Joffrey in Chicago, or companies in Atlanta, Boston, Austin, Milwaukee, Sacramento and Philadelphia. That may spare a number of gingerbread soldiers and mice. But the cancellation of so many presentations of Tchaikovsky's ballet strikes at the heart of the health of dance companies and the arts across America.

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Andrew Bird began to wonder about Christmas a while ago.

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ANDREW BIRD: (Singing) Yeah, I'm writing this song about Christmas in April this year. So I'm not sure what to think about that.

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Looking for a book to curl up with just about now? I mean, you can't spend all of your time listening to the music of BJ Leiderman, who writes our theme music. NPR's Book Concierge has nearly 400 recommendations. Some of our colleagues have recommended four new books about current events for your reading pleasure.

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The power of a president to pardon people for crimes has always been controversial. Some early American leaders thought it smacked too much of royalty.

But Alexander Hamilton argued the law should have avenues for mercy, or "justice would wear a countenance too sanguinary and cruel." He thought one person was more likely to use such power with conscience than a committee.

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The NPR Book Concierge is a collection of nearly 400 new book recommendations by NPR staff, critics and reviewers. Every weekend this December, we'll feature a few books our esteemed colleagues liked. Here are four from some of the fine people who work at NPR's Arts Desk.

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Here's a twist on a holiday rom-com. Abby is touched when Harper, the person she loves, invites her to join their family at home for the holidays. They're on their way when Harper has something to divulge.

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This story was edited for radio by Martha Ann Overland.

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You know, we could all use a good companion these days. A dog - but they shed. A cat - but they scratch. How about a snail?

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UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Snails are so hot right now.

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