Weekend Edition Saturday

Saturday at 8-10am
Join Scott Simon Saturday Mornings for Weekend Edition
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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8:16am

Sat May 19, 2012
Sports

Sports: Proving Your Worth

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

You're listening to WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: In the NBA, the Miami Heat have a lot to prove against the Indiana Pacers. In the NHL, the L.A. Kings are proving it. And a farewell to Kerry Wood. Howard Bryant of ESPN and ESPN.com joins us.

Morning, Howard.

HOWARD BRYANT: Good morning, Scott. How are you?

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8:16am

Sat May 19, 2012
Simon Says

Teaching Kids Balance Can Be A Lesson For Parents

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 1:23 pm

It's a constant test for parents: Everything you thought you were doing right may be wrong.
iStockphoto.com

To be a parent is to be constantly reminded that almost everything you thought you were doing right for your children will one day turn out to be wrong.

The wisdom on whether your baby should be put to sleep on his back or stomach, whether fevers should be treated or left to run their course, seems to change every few years. Parents used to think nothing of letting their children bounce around like pingpong balls in the back of a car. Now, children are strapped in the back like astronauts waiting for blast off.

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5:57am

Sat May 19, 2012
Fine Art

Barnes Foundation Changes Location, But Little Else

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

Barnes Foundation opens the doors of its new location in downtown Philadelphia on Saturday. Since 1922, the collection has been housed in the Philadelphia suburbs, where critics say the collection's owner would have wanted it to stay." href="/post/barnes-foundation-changes-location-little-else" class="noexit lightbox">
After years of bitter controversy, the Barnes Foundation opens the doors of its new location in downtown Philadelphia on Saturday. Since 1922, the collection has been housed in the Philadelphia suburbs, where critics say the collection's owner would have wanted it to stay.
Tom Crane The Barnes Foundation Philadelphia

The Barnes Foundation opens the doors of its new gallery in downtown Philadelphia on Saturday. Its collection of paintings by Matisse, Picasso, Renoir, Cezanne and many more is now hanging in galleries designed to replicate those at the Barnes' old home in suburban Merion. The move follows a decade of bitter debate over the future of this multibillion-dollar collection.

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5:57am

Sat May 19, 2012
Author Interviews

Americans: A 'Bunch Of Amateurs,' And Proud Of It

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

Book cover detail: Bunch of Amateurs

Jack Hitt says if you drill down into the American spirit to find out what makes Americans so American, you'll find it's the fact that we're all amateurs at heart. In his new book, Bunch of Amateurs: A Search for the American Character, he pinpoints the first American to use the amateur label to his advantage: Benjamin Franklin.

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8:07am

Sat May 12, 2012
Opinion

Can A Change Of Heart Beat The Flip-Flop Charge?

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 2:46 pm

President Barack Obama told ABC this week that he supports gay marriage.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Most Americans give politicians low marks for sincerity and see every decision they reach as a cold, poll-driven calculation. Often enough, it is. Politicians, after all, have asked pollsters where they should spend their summer vacations.

Yet when pundits and interest groups urge politicians to change their minds and they do, they're assailed for flip-flopping.

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8:07am

Sat May 12, 2012
From Our Listeners

Your Letters: On Composition And Evidence

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time now for your letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)

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7:48am

Sat May 12, 2012
NPR Story

British Press Inquiry Sheds Light On P.M.'s Circle

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The British have been holding a public inquiry into press ethics for the last few months. The government is responding to the outcry over the phone-hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch's News of the World. The inquiry's investing the way newspapers, the police and politicians may feed off each other and that means shining a light into the secluded world, in particular, of the prime minister's social set. NPR's Philip Reeves has been watching the questioning.

(SOUNDBITE OF INQUIRY)

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7:48am

Sat May 12, 2012
NPR Story

Attorney Katzenbach: A Key Force For Civil Rights

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This morning we remember a man who stood up to George Wallace before the eyes of the world. Nicholas Katzenbach became attorney general in the Johnson administration and played a pivotal role in much of the civil rights history of the 1960s. He died this week at his home in New Jersey at the age of 90. NPR's Debbie Elliott looks back at his life.

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7:48am

Sat May 12, 2012
NPR Story

Obama's Gay Marriage Evolution: A Societal Shift?

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

President Obama made a personal statement in a TV interview this week. He didn't call for any new laws or initiatives. But many Americans seem to hear his statement as a truly significant moment in American history. Novelist and screenwriter Armistead Maupin joins us. Mr. Maupin is best known for his breakthrough "Tales of the City" series. He joins us from member station KQED in San Francisco. Thanks so much for being with us.

ARMISTEAD MAUPIN: Oh, it's a pleasure, Scott.

SIMON: How do you feel about what the president said?

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6:19am

Sat May 12, 2012
Author Interviews

'In One Person': A Tangled Gender-Bender

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 9:25 am

Simon & Schuster

The star of John Irving's new novel, In One Person, is Billy Abbott. Billy is a character at the mercy of his own teenage crushes, which are visited upon by a whole repertory company of gender-bending characters.

It's a repertory company in the most literal sense, too. Billy spends many days backstage at the local theater — where gender can also fluctuate and where his family members are regulars.

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4:03am

Sat May 12, 2012
Deceptive Cadence

Roman Totenberg: A Musical Life Remembered

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:54 pm

At 101, Roman Totenberg was teaching students up to the very end of his life.
Suzanne Kreiter The Boston Globe via Getty Images

[Roman Totenberg was a child prodigy who became a violin virtuoso, as well as a master teacher who passed along his command of craft and his love of music — and life — to thousands. He was also the man you wanted to sit next to at the table because he was so funny. Totenberg died this week at the age of 101, surrounded by loving family, friends and students. We asked his daughter, Nina Totenberg, for this remembrance. — Scott Simon]

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10:26am

Sun May 6, 2012
Author Interviews

The 'Marvelous' Rise Of King Henry's Adviser

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 3:57 pm

Hulton Archive Getty Images

When Hilary Mantel's new book opens, the spark has gone out of Henry VIII's second marriage. His roving eye leaves Anne Boleyn and begins to settle on Jane Seymour, another woman at court. The monarch doesn't go to a marriage counselor or divorce lawyer, not when Thomas Cromwell is his chief adviser.

Bring Up the Bodies is the sequel to Wolf Hall, which won the Man Booker Prize and worldwide acclaim. It is also the latest in a planned trilogy about Cromwell.

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1:01pm

Sat May 5, 2012
NPR Story

French Election Marks A Fork In The Road

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 10:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

The French presidential runoff is tomorrow. President Nicolas Sarkozy and his opponent Socialist candidate Francois Hollande represent two different visions for their country.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley sends this report.

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7:11am

Sat May 5, 2012
From Our Listeners

Your Letters: A Tale Of Injustice

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 6:13 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time now for your letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF LETTERS THEME MUSIC)

SIMON: The name that kept popping up in our email box this week was Michael Morton. He was the subject of a report last Saturday by NPR's Wade Goodwyn, who told the story of how Mr. Morton was convicted in 1987 of murdering his wife, Christine, near Austin, Texas. He was innocent, but served almost 25 years in prison.

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7:11am

Sat May 5, 2012
Remembrances

Adam Yauch Gave Distinct Sound To Genre-Bending Band

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 10:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

A famous trio has lost a member. Whether you knew him as Adam Yauch, Nathanial Hornblower or MCA, he brought a distinct sound to a genre-bending band.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)

BEASTIE BOYS: (Singing) ...if what you get is what you see, c'mon...

SIMON: MCA was a founding member of the Beastie Boys, a band that helped make hip-hop mainstream. Now, before they rapped, the Beastie Boys were just punks.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TIME FOR LIVIN' ")

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6:37am

Sat May 5, 2012
NPR Story

'Bring Up The Bodies': Taking Down Anne Boleyn

Originally published on Sat May 5, 2012 1:01 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

When Hilary Mantel's new book opens, the spark has gone out of Henry the VIII's marriage; second marriage, in fact. Anne Boleyn hasn't given him a son. Now, he finds the sharp remarks she makes that used to charm sometimes come at his expense. His roving eye begins to settle on Jane Seymour, another woman at court. But in Henry's time, a monarch doesn't go to a marriage counselor or divorce lawyer, not when Thomas Cromwell is the king's chief advisor.

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6:34am

Sat May 5, 2012
NPR Story

The Race Is On: Obama Heads To Battleground States

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 10:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

President Obama tried to best the face on yesterday's jobs report. He told students at a Virginia high school that private employers have added more than four million jobs over the last two years, but he acknowledge recovery is not happening fast enough.

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6:34am

Sat May 5, 2012
NPR Story

News Corp. Fallout: The Implication Of Being 'Unfit'

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 10:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This week, the British Parliamentary committee that was convened to investigate accusations of phone hacking and executive misconduct at Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., delivered its findings. And the headlines it created make uncomfortable reading for a media magnate who has been under the microscope for 18 months now.

MPs accused News Corp. as a whole of what they call willful blindness. And they went on to make some further damning observations on Rupert Murdoch's own competency.

Here's Labour Member of Parliament Tom Watson.

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6:34am

Sat May 5, 2012
NPR Story

I Shall 'Scream' At Such A Price Tag

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 10:26 am

One of four versions Edvard Munch made of his masterpiece, The Scream, one of the most recognizable works of art in the world, was auctioned at Sotheby's this week for a record-setting price: $119 million.

8:03am

Sat April 28, 2012
From Our Listeners

Your Letters: Veterans And Record Nostalgia

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 12:22 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time now for Your Letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Many of you were moved by our story about the Soldier Ride, a four-day cycling event organized by the Wounded Warriors Project. Iraq War veteran Sergeant Michael Owens spoke about why he rides.

SERGEANT MICHAEL SULLIVAN: I think it's really important for warriors and veterans like myself to be able to know that we can still do the same things we did before, or new things that we never tried before.

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6:13am

Sat April 28, 2012
Movies

A Creative Collaboration With A 'Darling Companion'

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 12:22 pm

Beth (Diane Keaton) and her daughter (Elisabeth Moss) rescue an injured dog from the side of the highway. Beth's husband (Kevin Kline) later loses the beloved pet, an event co-writer Meg Kasdan says is inspired by a real-life incident.
Wilson Webb Sony Pictures Classics

Lawrence Kasdan became famous for writing the blockbusters The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark, but he went on to a successful directing career with high-profile films like Body Heat, The Big Chill and Grand Canyon.

His latest film, and his first in nine years, is Darling Companion, which Kasdan wrote with his wife, Meg. The film was her idea.

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6:04am

Sat April 28, 2012
Movie Interviews

Michelle Yeoh: Portraying An Icon In 'The Lady'

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 12:22 pm

Michelle Yeoh plays pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi in The Lady. Yeoh says it was important that the film portrayed Suu Kyi's struggles realistically, including how her 15-year house arrest kept her from her husband and sons.
Cohen Media Group

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters at a recent film premiere that she'd told Aung San Suu Kyi that she was moving from being an icon to being a politician.

The film Clinton saw is The Lady, starring Michelle Yeoh as the pro-democracy activist who spent 15 years under house arrest in Myanmar (also known as Burma), and who won the Nobel Peace Prize before being freed in 2010.

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6:04am

Sat April 28, 2012
Author Interviews

'The Art Of The Sale': Life's A Pitch

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 12:22 pm

iStockphoto

Salesmen are rarely heroic figures in American culture. They're often shown as slick, unscrupulous charlatans like Ricky Roma in David Mamet's play Glengarry Glen Ross. And then there are sad, defeated characters like Willy Loman in Death Of A Salesman, who shortly before taking his life says, "After all the highways, and the trains, and the appointments, and the years, you end up worth more dead than alive."

Yet sales drive the economy. The cleverest invention or product will disappear — creating no income, no employment — unless someone can sell it.

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1:59am

Sat April 28, 2012
Monkey See

Garry Marshall On His 'Happy Days'

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 12:22 pm

Director Garry Marshall and sister, actress-director Penny Marshall, seen here in 2004 when she received her star on the Walk Of Fame.
Vince Bucci Getty Images

Director Garry Marshall has worked on so much popular comedy in his career — television like Happy Days and The Odd Couple, movies like Pretty Woman and Beaches — that something he's done has probably made you laugh. And now he's written a memoir called, fittingly, My Happy Days In Hollywood: A Memoir.

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10:19am

Sat April 21, 2012
Simon Says

Prostitution's Real Casualties Aren't Secret Service

Originally published on Sat April 21, 2012 10:46 am

Six U.S. Secret Service agents have lost their jobs so far after a prostitution scandal that took place at the Hotel Caribe in Cartagena, Colombia, just before President Obama's arrival at the Summit of the Americas conference earlier this month.
Manuel Pedraza AFP/Getty Images

I've been curious about a question I haven't heard in the stories about U.S. Secret Service agents misbehaving before President Obama's arrival at the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia.

Why were world leaders meeting in a place with legalized prostitution?

There might have been a time — after I saw Toulouse-Lautrec's poignant paintings of life in Paris brothels, or Billy Wilder's clever Irma la Douce — when I thought of prostitution as a harmless enterprise between consenting adults.

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7:41am

Sat April 21, 2012
From Our Listeners

A Clarification: No First-Class Flying Here

Originally published on Sat April 21, 2012 10:46 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

A small clarification now: A few weeks ago on this program, Tom Goldman told us that he was about to catch a flight to Denver to cover the NCAA Women's Basketball championships. I joked: By the way, United Airlines, if you're listening, please upgrade Mr. Goldman - our compliments.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: I'm already first-class.

SIMON: In all ways, my friend.

GOLDMAN: Oops, did I say that?

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6:25am

Sat April 21, 2012
Author Interviews

'Steinbeck In Vietnam': A Great Writer's Last Reports

Originally published on Sat April 21, 2012 10:46 am

The last piece of published writing from one of America's greatest writers was a series of letters he sent back from the front lines of war at the age of 64.

John Steinbeck's reports shocked readers and family so much that they've never been reprinted — until now.

Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962 for a life's work writing about those who had been roughed up by history — most notably his Depression-era novels, Of Mice And Men and The Grapes of Wrath. Four years later, Steinbeck left for Vietnam to cover the war firsthand.

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6:25am

Sat April 21, 2012
Theater

Blair Underwood On Stanley, Stella And 'Streetcar'

Originally published on Sat April 21, 2012 10:46 am

Stanley (Blair Underwood) and his sister-in-law, Blanche DuBois (Nicole Ari Parker), spar while Stanley's wife, Stella (Daphne Rubin-Vega), sits outside.
Ken Howard

There's a lot of juicy material for an actor in Tennessee Williams' landmark drama A Streetcar Named Desire. Sex, booze, class, betrayal — all set in the seething French Quarter of 1940s New Orleans.

A new Broadway revival has added another set of layers to the play: The multiracial production stars Blair Underwood in one of the most iconic roles in American theater — Stanley Kowalski.

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11:15am

Sat April 14, 2012
NPR Story

A Political Tempest In A Tweetpot

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 11:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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8:00am

Sat April 14, 2012
The Record

Indian Record Label Hits The Road To Save Traditional Music

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 4:24 pm

Sakar Khan with his kamancha in his home in Hamira, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. He's passed his favorite kamancha — the one he got from his father — to his son, Darra. But this one plays just fine, if he's the guy playing it.
Michael Sullivan NPR

The number of major record labels is down to three. But that's not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to promoting music that's out of the mainstream. A label called Amarrass Records, founded in the Indian state of Rajasthan, is dedicated to exposing and preserving indigenous folk music before it disappears.

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