All Things Considered

Weekdays 3:00pm-6:00pm, Weekend at 4pm
  • Hosted by Melissa Block, Michele Norris, Audie Cornish
  • Local Host Kyle Felling

Since its debut in 1971, this afternoon radio newsmagazine has delivered in-depth reporting and transformed the way listeners understand current events and view the world. Heard by almost 13 million* people on nearly 700 radio stations each week, All Things Considered is one of the most popular programs in America. Every weekday, hosts Melissa Block Robert Siegel, and Audie Cornish present two hours of breaking news mixed with compelling analysis, insightful commentaries, interviews, and special -- sometimes quirky -- features. 

A one-hour edition of the program runs on Saturday and Sunday.

The posts below are some of the highlights from All Things ConsideredVisit the program page on NPR to see a full list of stories.

BofA Cancels Plans For Debit Card Fee

Nov 1, 2011

Bank of America canceled plans to impose a $5 monthly fee on customers who use debit cards in stores and restaurants. The bank's original decision to charge the fee came under sharp attack from consumer groups and individual customers.

Senators Grill Officials On ATF Operations

Nov 1, 2011

Senators grill a high-level Justice Department official about why they didn't do or say more about two Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive gun trafficking operations that resulted in hundreds of guns going missing in Mexico.

Jeffrey Lewis is my homeboy. The prolific anti-folk singer-songwriter has lived less than a mile from where I live on the Lower East Side since he was born in 1975. Difference is, I moved to Avenue B as an adult, while he's a native — his dad is a Brooklyn-born motorcycle mechanic who hung with local politicos and musicians.

It's Halloween. Want to hear Neil Patrick Harris get freaked out?

Thought so. You'll want to click on that play button above, and check out Neda Ulaby's All Things Considered piece on an L.A. haunted house — more of an interactive play, really — called Delusion.

The buzz in Los Angeles for Halloween includes enthusiasm for the interactive play, called Delusion. In the words of the blurb, "This inclusive scare-down has audiences as participants in an interactive play by creator and professional stuntman Jon Braver, who uses his Hollywood background to pack punches in a twisted story of a mad asylum genius gone bad."

If there's anything guaranteed to lift the heart of an NPR nerd, it's the sound of All Things Considered's Robert Siegel losing his composure. This is a news anchor, after all, who can deliver the song title "Party 'Til You Puke" with all the gravity of a president announcing the death of a hero. (No, really. This happened.)

Glenn Stout has served as the editor of the Best American Sports Writing series since 1991. His latest book is Fenway 1912: The Birth of a Ballpark, a Championship Season, and Fenway's Remarkable First Year.

Baseball is over again and — for a while — so am I.

Syrian President Bashar Assad warned of an "earthquake" if any outside forces intervened in his country. Meanwhile, protesters say dozens of people were killed in the last few days, making this one of the bloodiest weekends since the uprising began.

Three-Minute Fiction

Oct 30, 2011

This round of Three-Minute Fiction attracted 3,400 original stories. NPR's Bob Mondello reads an excerpt from Sleep Lessons by Chad Woody from Springfield, Mo., and Susan Stamberg shares parts of The Edge by Andrew Morris from Andes, N.Y. To see these stories and others go to npr.org/threeminutefiction.

From Mafia Soldier To Cocaine Cowboy

Oct 30, 2011

Jon Roberts was born into the Mafia.

His father, Nat Riccobono, and his uncles came to New York City from Sicily and made money by running shady businesses throughout New York in the late 1940s. After his father was deported and his mother died, Roberts moved from home to home until he was 16 and joined his uncles in the Mafia.

By the time Roberts was 26, in 1978, he was a practiced criminal — committing robberies and dealing cocaine in New York City; but he was getting bored. That's when he moved to Miami and started working with the Colombians, importing cocaine.

The U.S. Army's Rock 'N' Roll Past

Oct 30, 2011

The thought of army music evokes a certain tradition — say, trumpets and drums in the style of "Pershing's Own." But that tradition was set on its ear back in the late 1960s and early '70s, when the PFCs stationed overseas formed their own pop bands. And instead of breaking them up, Army brass sent them on tour.

Writer and comedian Andy Borowitz says he initially got into comedy for one simple reason: girls.

In addition to using his jokes to charm women, Borowitz has also written for The New Yorker and runs a satirical blog called The Borowitz Report. His latest project is The 50 Funniest American Writers: An Anthology of Humor from Mark Twain to The Onion.

It was almost two years ago now that Justin Timberlake, while filming The Social Network, cemented his place in the NPR collective heart by being photographed wearing our logo across his chest like a tattoo, only fabric, and temporary, and less painful. (Back then, by the way, that shirt wasn't in our shop. Now, you can have one! It's with our "best-sellers," even now.)

Why GDP Is Like GPA

Oct 28, 2011

GDP contains multitudes. Everything we manufacture. Every plumber who fixed a sink, every accountant who carried the one and divided by five — all the goods and services we produced.

It was invented by a guy named Simon Kuznets during the the Great Depression, when everybody wanted to know just how bad things were.

Now the number is put out by Steve Landefeld at the government's Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Welcome to the first installment of NPR's Backseat Book Club! We've invited all of our younger listeners to join us for conversations with authors of kids' books. We kicked off the club with The Graveyard Book, a thrilling Halloween treat from Neil Gaiman that won the Newbery Medal in 2009. Gaiman loves Halloween and all the creepy fun that goes along with it.

Amy Dickinson writes the Ask Amy advice column for the Chicago Tribune. Her column appears in 150 newspapers across the country.

I think the best advice is simply good advice.

It's helpful, useful and delivered with respect.

Ask Beth's specialty was advising young people about relationships, sexuality, and sexual behavior. This is a tricky business because kids and teens are often misinformed — or simply uninformed.

NFL Ratings Beat New Network Shows

Oct 28, 2011

The biggest thing on broadcast TV this fall is the NFL. It's beating the shiny new network shows and, get this, 13 of the top 15 broadcasts this fall were NFL games — the other two were Two and a Half Men. The NFL is killing on cable, too. AMC's The Walking Dead shattered records for a cable drama this year, with had an audience of over 7 million viewers for its premiere. But another cable series that nearly doubles that number week in and week out is ESPN's Monday Night Football, averaging nearly 14 million viewers per game.

Melissa Block speaks with our regular political commentators E.J. Dionne, of the Washington Post and Brookings Institution, and David Brooks, of the New York Times.

What if you could time-travel back to Memphis' Sun Studios in the 1950s? Behind the console would be none other than producer Sam Phillips. You might hear such classic songs as "My Happiness," "Crazy Arms" or "Walk the Line," originally recorded at Sun Studio by Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash, respectively.

Intelligent Design: McCarthy, Myself And AI

Oct 27, 2011

Adam Frank is an astrophysicist at the University of Rochester. He is a regular contributor to the NPR blog 13.7: Cosmos and Culture.

What is going to happen when our machines wake up? What will happen when all these computers that run our lives suddenly become intelligent and self-aware? It's a question that makes sense to ask today, as the world marks the recent passage of John McCarthy.

Time for our home video feature, where NPR movie critic Bob Mondello suggests something for those who like to pop their own popcorn and pop in a video. For this Halloween week, Bob suggests sending a shiver up your spine with some classics from: Alfred Hitchcock: The Essentials Collection.

Ex-Goldman Sachs Director Surrenders To FBI

Oct 26, 2011

Ex-Goldman Sachs Director Rajat Gupta surrendered to the FBI Wednesday on criminal charges of leaking inside information to the founder of the Galleon Group hedge fund. Michele Norris talks to Ilya Marritz for more.

Tom Waits: A Desperate Voice For Desperate Times

Oct 26, 2011

Tom Waits generally sings like a psychotic carnival barker or a drunken lounge crooner. And I really mean that as a compliment.

Part two of a three-part investigation

On a small crest deep in South Dakota's Black Hills, a dozen children jumped on sleds and floated across the snow. They are wards of the state, and this is their home: the western campus of the Children's Home Society.

There are rolling hills, a babbling brook — even a new school.

Children's Home Director Bill Colson says it's a place to help children who can't make it in regular foster homes.

In a hurry-up world, the garden keeps its own time. Old-fashioned plants like raspberries, asparagus and rhubarb ask us to slow down and wait for the sweet reward they offer. Commentator Julie Zickefoose revels in the waiting.

I have a friend who lives up in the mountains of North Carolina who loves to give me wonderful plants. Usually Connie gives me native prairie plants, and I plop them in the meadow, and it's no big deal. But this year she gave me raspberries. Not just any raspberries. Golden raspberries.

Occupy Wall Street's Most Unlikely Ally: The Pope

Oct 25, 2011

Thomas J. Reese is a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, and a former editor of America, the national Catholic weekly magazine.

The Vatican released a document on the world economy on Monday that will cause heartburn in the Tea Party, but will be cheered by the folks occupying Wall Street.

Norton Juster is the author of The Phantom Tollbooth.

"There was once a boy named Milo who didn't know what to do with himself — not just sometimes but always. When he was in school he longed to be out, and when he was out he longed to be in ... Nothing really interested him — least of all the things that should have."

It was, of course, the doldrums — his own special version of them.

I found The Twin, by Gerbrand Bakker, sitting on a coffee table at a writers' colony in 2009. It carried praise from J.M. Coetzee for its "restrained tenderness and laconic humor," which seemed ample justification for using it to avoid my own writing.

I finished it, weeping, a day later, and have been puzzling over its powerful hold on me ever since. I've recommended it again and again, and while I can't say it's entirely undiscovered — it won the 2010 IMPAC Dublin Award — no one I know ever seems to have heard of it.

In 1985, my friend Johnny suffered a tragic loss in a crime that went unsolved until this year. While reporters tell us that justice has finally brought closure, the story endures, and it raises an unsettling question: What compels us toward tales about violence, about murder?

Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that all artful stories humanize us as surely as they humanize their characters. They allow us to transcend crime-scene voyeurism and courtroom media hype, to bear witness to those who survive, after the book is slid back onto the shelf.

When I was a kid, I assumed that in the future things would get better and better until we were all driving flying cars and playing badminton with space aliens on top of 500-story buildings. Frankly, I kind of counted on this happening. But now I don't assume that we'll just keep going up anymore.

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