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John Hockenberry

The Takeaway is a national afternoon news program that delivers the news and analysis you need to catch up on your day and prepare for what's ahead. Host John Hockenberry, along with the The New York Times and WGBH Boston, invites listeners every afternoon to learn more and be part of the American conversation.



  • Friday, May 1, 2015 6:47pm

    This week's Movie Date podcast features a look at "Welcome to Me," "The Avengers: Age of Ultron," "Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck," and more!

    There's also a deep-dive into whether superheroes are killing the movies with AM New York's Entertainment Editor Scott Rosenberg and News Editor Rob Levin

    And, as always, there's trivia!

  • Friday, May 1, 2015 2:57pm

    After a 16-month-long federal investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane closings scandal dubbed "Bridgegate," two indictments have come down.

    The case stems from a four-day traffic jam at the George Washington Bridge in September 2013, just two months before New Jersey Governor Chris Christie won re-election. It snarled traffic for hours and unleashed a scandal that has dragged down the governor's presidential ambitions.

    The scheme was devised to punish the mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey, Mark Sokolich, who did not endorse Christie for his re-election campaign

    Bill Baroni, the former deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Bridget Anne Kelly, a former deputy chief of staff to Governor Christie, were both indicted.

    Also today, David Wildstein, another former Port Authority official and old friend of Christie, pleaded guilty conspiracy to commit fraud and conspiracy against civil rights.

    Nancy Solomon, managing editor at New Jersey Public Radio, has the details on this case.

  • Friday, May 1, 2015 2:42pm

    Every Friday, Sean Rameswaram, a producer with Studio 360 and host of the podcast Sideshow, rounds up the week in internet phenomena. 

    This week in "Thanks, Internet," Sean talks to Todd Zwillich about the online treasures you may have missed.

    1. Guess Who’s Coming to Riot?

    ClickHole is doing such a good job of dismantling the internet that it’s easy to forget what a good job The Onion is still doing satirizing just about everything else. This week, our favorite fake news source reminded us with a brilliant headline so on point, we couldn't laugh.

    2. A Brief History of One Direction 

    Hologram Stephen Hawking was asked a question about One Direction this week and his answer made the whole internet chortle, except all the One Direction fans who were all:

    lol what

    3. Raising The Bar Mitzvahs

    Nicki Minaj is available to play your Bar Mitzvah. God knows what it’s going to cost you, but it may result in one of the greatest photos of your life. One lucky 13-year-old New Yorker became a legend this week when Nicki played a private set at his after party and took a photo with his whole adolescent squad. The photo was so astounding and thought-provoking that Grantland’s Rembert Brown spent a day dissecting it – from hand placement, to wardrobe selection, to those funny feelings you get all the damn time at that age: 

    When you’re this age, and a boy, you have no idea what to do. In any situation. At any given moment, you could curse or cry. It’s a wild time to be alive. Your body is constantly betraying you, causing your mind to do backflips — typically as a failed attempt in calming yourself down — further causing your body to betray you.

    This picture is all about dreams coming true, excitement, and then panic. It’s a moment that was never supposed to happen, a moment you’ve long been waiting to have happen, a moment in which you have no idea what to do. This picture should not confuse you. Because every single thing happening makes perfect sense.

    4. (B)ryan Adams 

    Thirteen years ago, Ryan Adams had a hilarious heckler kicked out of his show at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium for requesting Bryan Adam’s “Summer of ’69.” This week, back at the Ryman, Ryan Adams got over himself and covered the classic. 

    5. Torn Detective

  • Friday, May 1, 2015 1:47pm

    In an unexpected announcement issued Friday, prosecutors in Baltimore said that they had probable cause to file homicide, manslaughter and misconduct charges against six police officers allegedly involved in the the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African-American who died after sustaining a spinal cord injury while in police custody last month.

    “The [Baltimore City] State’s Attorney, Marilyn Mosby, said there was no cause to arrest [Gray] to begin with,” says Kenneth Burns, a reporter for public radio station WYPR in Baltimore. “Officers said there was a knife found on Freddie Gray when he was arrested, but she says that the particular knife that he had was not a switch blade—you could hold onto it legally in the state of Maryland.”

    During Friday’s press conference, Mosby said that officials ruled Gray’s death a homicide after an independent investigation, which found that the six officers implicated in Gray's death repeatedly mistreated him. Mosby says the officers arrested him without grounds, and violated police procedure when they failed to secure him with a seat belt—a crucial factor.

    “Mr. Gray suffered a critical neck injury as a result of being handcuffed, shackled by his feet and unrestrained inside the BPD wagon,” Mosby said during the press briefing, referring to the police van.

    Though the officers repeatedly stopped to check on his condition, they never belted him and ultimately failed to get him medical attention.

    “Mr. Gray was no longer breathing at all" by the time he was removed from the van, Mosby said.

    “At no point while Freddie Gray was in the police van was he in a seatbelt,” says Burns. “In fact at one point, he was placed in shackles but still not properly placed in a seatbelt.”

    Gene Ryan, the president of the local police union, sent Mosby a letter defending the officers.

    "As tragic as this situation is, none of the officers involved are responsible for the death of Mr. Gray," Ryan wrote. "To the contrary, at all times, each of the officers diligently balanced their obligations to protect Mr. Gray and discharge their duties to protect the public."

    Mosby, a 35-year-old Democrat, has only been in her current position for about four months and is the youngest chief prosecutor in a major U.S. city.

    “I would characterize this as her biggest case to date,” says Burns.

    Though she is bringing charges against these officers, Mosby defended the police department at large, noting that her mother, father, grandfather, and uncles were all police officers. And while many Baltimore residents are pleased with Mosby’s decision to bring charges, not all are confident in the way forward.

    “There is some satisfaction,” says Burns. “But at the same time, I spoke with one person who works in the city with the housing authority. He’s concerned about what happens going forward, particularly at trial, especially if the officers are found not guilty...There’s a lot of concern that there will be a repeat performance of what we saw this past Monday.”

  • Friday, May 1, 2015 12:52pm

    Kurt Cobain died at the age of 27. With his band, Nirvana, he recorded just three studio albums. And yet, 21 years after his suicide, Kurt Cobain continues to hold a sacred place for music fans.

    There are dozens of unauthorized biographies, films, and internet-based detective operations organized by fans that have explored Cobain's life and the struggles he faced. But only now is a fully-authorized documentary being released. It was made with the cooperation of Kurt Cobain’s family and executive produced by his daughter, Frances Bean Cobain.

    The film is called "Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck," and it includes personal snapshots, home movies from Cobain's childhood and adulthood, recordings made by Cobain at home and on the road, volumes of never-before-seen drawings and words from Cobain's notebooks, and interviews with friends and family, including his widow, Courtney Love.

    Academy Award nominee Brett Morgan is the film's director, producer, writer and co-editor. He discusses "Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck," which is currently in limited release in theaters and will premiere on HBO on Monday, May 4th.

    Check out a trailer for the film below.