WTOP’s Interviews and Links

Audio and context around some of the interviews and stories on WTOP News. This blog is curated by WTOP’s Dimitri Sotis.

For previous blog posts in this series, please click here.

The January 6th panel sets a criminal contempt vote for Steve Bannon

(By Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

National Journal’s Jeff Dufour talks to WTOP about the Jan. 6 panel’s efforts to get Bannon to appear

October 17, 2021 | National Journal Editor-in-Chief Jeff Dufour on the January 6th House panel vs. Steve Bannon ( )



The latest controversy surrounding the Washington Football Team

(By Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Former employees are asking NFL sponsors to help release the full report on sexual harassment allegations regarding the WFT – meantime the Washington Post reports the team offered financial settlements to former employees. WaPo Columnist Sally Jenkins offers her thoughts on the team – and Jon Gruden’s resignation on WTOP

October 17, 2021 | Washington Post Sports Columnist Sally Jenkins on Jon Gruden & the Washington Football Team investigation ( )


‘No Time to Die’ not the best Bond film but hardly the worst

(By Tolga Akmen / AFP via Getty Images)

Critic Christian Toto reviews Daniel Craig’s last Bond movie and discusses three aging actors who keep getting better (Listen below and read about Craig saying goodbye to Bond)

October 17, 2021 | Christian Toto reviews the latest 007 film ‘No Time to Die’ ( )




Zuckerberg’s response to the whistleblower

(By Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Journalist Bob Sullivan responds to Mark Zuckerberg’s response to Facebook’s recent controversies (Listen below)

October 17, 2021 | Independent tech journalist Bob Sullivan says you should be able to opt out of Facebook’s algorithm ( )




How to fix Facebook

(Getty Images)

CNET’s Ian Sherr gives WTOP his reaction to the testimony of Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen (Listen below & read)

November 29, 2021 | (Dimitri Sotis)

Facebook and its platforms come back to life after a multi-hour worldwide outage

(By Ivan Romano/Getty Images)

“What the Hack” podcast cohost Adam Levin joins WTOP with lessons learned from this outage

October 17, 2021 | Online security specialist Adam Levin on the Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp outage ( )







“The Many Saints of Newark” might’ve been better as a series

(By Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Critic Christian Toto tells WTOP the Sopranos prequel is not as good as even the worst season of the groundbreaking HBO series (Listen below and read AP’s take)

November 29, 2021 | (Dimitri Sotis)


Improving mental health through photography

(By Getty Images)

Health Affairs’ Jessica Bylander tells WTOP about a Denver program in which people take pictures and write narratives to help in their mental health recovery. (Listen below and read)

October 17, 2021 | Jessica Bylander with Health Affairs discussing a Denver mental health program involving taking photos and telling stories ( )


‘The Problem With Jon Stewart’ may suffer from the host’s previous groundbreaking success

(By Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Washington Post TV Critic Inkoo Kang tells WTOP she isn’t too impressed with Stewart’s new Apple TV+ series (Listen below and read)

October 17, 2021 | WaPo’s Inkoo Kang tells WTOP Jon Stewart’s new Apple TV+ show is too long and not funny ( )




Instagram under the microscope in Congress

(Photo Illustration by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

On Thursday senators pressured Facebook/Instagram to do better by young people, especially those suffering with body image issues

WTOP recently spoke to the Wall Street Journal’s Jeff Horwitz about his paper’s reporting-series on Facebook that shows the company knows its platforms are full of flaws that hurt people

October 17, 2021 | WSJ’s Jeff Horwitz on The Facebook Files ( )




The McAuliffe campaign causes concern at the White House

(By Oliver Contreras/Sipa/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The race for Virginia governor is tight. That has the Biden White House worrying about a domino effect of Democratic losses if Terry McAuliffe falls to Glenn Youngkin. Politico’s Maya King shares the story with WTOP

October 17, 2021 | Politico’s Maya King on how a Democratic loss in Virginia could set off a cascade of failure for Democrats ( )



Colin Kaepernick gave athletes of all kinds the language of social justice

(Courtesy The New Press)

Dave Zirin, author of “The Kaepernick Effect,” talks to WTOP about how the former NFL starting QB changed the world

October 17, 2021 | Dave Zirin shares part of his new book ‘The Kaepernick Effect’ with WTOP ( )





Russia’s latest parliamentary elections are disputed

(By Olga Maltseva / AFP via Getty Images)

Amid videos of ballot-stuffing in the Russian parliamentary elections – we offer a recent chat with New York Times Moscow Reporter Andrew Kramer who interviewed opposition leader Alexei Navalny who remains in a prison near Moscow (Listen below and read Kramer’s piece)

October 17, 2021 | The New York Times’ Andrew Kramer on his recent interview with the imprisoned Alexei Navalny ( )

Women should stop worrying about being ‘too loud’

(Courtesy Penguin Random House)

Women’s empowerment specialist Andrea Owen shares her new book Make Some Noise with WTOP

October 17, 2021 | Andrea Owen discusses empowerment in her new book ‘Make Some Noise’ ( )



Some QR codes could take you to bad places

(Getty Images)

Consumerman Herb Weisbaum, with checkbook.org, warns scammers are now using QR codes to try to steal from you (Listen below and read)

October 17, 2021 | Checkbook.org’s Herb Weisbaum on the convenience, and sometimes danger, of QR codes ( )


President Trump set the template for vaccine resistance and distrust of science

(Courtesy HarperCollins)

Yasmeen Abutaleb talks to WTOP about her new book – with Damian Paletta –  and about why some people are turning to potentially harmful medications like ivermectin instead of getting vaccinated for COVID (Listen below)

October 17, 2021 | ‘Nightmare Scenario’ co-author Yasmeen Abutaleb on WTOP ( )





“What Do You Say?” authors say they can help you better communicate with your kids

(Courtesy Penguin Random House)

Neuropsychologist Bill Stixrud and test prep tutor Ned Johnson say it’s imperative you talk to your kids and really get through to them (Listen below and read)

October 17, 2021 | ‘What Do You Say’ authors tell WTOP not all kids increased their stress levels during COVID ( )




Former Army Ranger says the Biden Administration made a mistake at almost every turn in Afghanistan

(Courtesy Allen Media Strategies)

Former Army Ranger and author Tom Amenta tells WTOP the military performed admirably during the Afghanistan airlift but the White House did not (Listen below and read about how the president defends his actions and decisions)

October 17, 2021 | Former Army Ranger Tom Amenta is critical of the Biden White House for its handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal ( )



The 20-year Afghanistan War is over

(By Aamir Qureshi /AFP via Getty Images)

Soon after the final military flight left Kabul Politico’s Lara Seligman joined WTOP with her analysis – including her exclusive report on why Thursday’s deadly terrorist attack wasn’t stopped (Listen below)

October 17, 2021 | Politico’s Lara Seligman tells WTOP about America’s final day in Afghanistan ( )


Afghanistan may be headed toward civil war

(By Olivier Douliery AFP via Getty Images)

International Security Expert Emily Harding talks to WTOP soon after the Kabul terrorist attack (Listen below and read about some of the servicemembers who were killed)

October 17, 2021 | Emily Harding, CSIS, on the deadly debacle that Afghanistan has become this summer ( )




Former Army Special Operations Ranger laments the situation in Kabul

(Courtesy Allen Media Strategies)

Author and former Army Ranger Dan Blakeley tells WTOP keeping Bagram Air Base open – and much greater communication – may have spared much death and grief in Afghanistan (Listen below and read)

October 17, 2021 | Former Army Ranger Dan Blakely on the mistakes made while leaving Afghanistan ( )


How the Biden Administration handled Afghanistan this week

(By Taylor Crul/U.S. Air Force via Getty Images)

ABC News Political Director Rick Klein tells WTOP relying on the Taliban is dangerous business (Listen below and read)

October 17, 2021 | ABC News Political Director Rick Klein on the precarious position the U-S is in with the Taliban ( )



It’s almost time to start repaying your student loans again

(By Getty Images)

Herb Weisbaum, with checkbook.org, tells WTOP the pause on paying federal student loans ends January 31st (Listen below and read)

October 17, 2021 | Consumerman Herb Weisbaum on the final months of the student loan repayment pause ( )




The US may have leverage over the Taliban

(By Aykut Karadag/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The Brookings Institution’s Michael O’ Hanlon tells WTOP the Taliban wants to be part of the international community and that could benefit the United States (Listen below and read)

October 17, 2021 | Brookings’ Michael O’Hanlon on the next steps in Afghanistan ( )




COVID has changed so many things – could DC traffic be next?

(By Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The Washington Post’s Emily Guskin tells WTOP about a new poll on whether you’re willing to ride Metro and drive to work as you did before COVID (Listen below)

October 17, 2021 | WaPo Polling Analyst Emily Guskin on what DC traffic patterns could be like post-COVID ( )

Is the Biden Administration handling its business on COVID?

(By Shawn Thew/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar tells WTOP – while the chaotic Trump COVID briefings may be over – the Biden Administration is having its own major struggles with coronavirus (Listen below and read)

October 17, 2021 | National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar says the Delta variant has knocked the Biden Administration on its heels ( )




Seven months after the Capitol riot, DC Police Officer Michael Fanone still has a long battle

(By Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Time Magazine’s Molly Ball talks to WTOP about her cover-story-profile of Fanone – who almost died defending the Capitol from the pro-Trump mob on January 6th (Listen below and read)

October 17, 2021 | Time Magazine’s Molly Ball on her Capitol riot cover story ( )




‘The Suicide Squad’ is far superior to 2016’s ‘Suicide Squad’

(Courtesy Atlas Entertainment)

Critic Christian Toto tells WTOP some of the same actors are here but this ‘Suicide Squad’ reboot is nothing like the failure of 5 years ago (Listen below and read the AP’s take)

October 17, 2021 | Critic Christian Toto loves ‘The Suicide Squad’ almost as much as he hated ‘Suicide Squad’ ( )


The eviction ban and other Biden Administration challenges

(By Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Politico’s Anita Kumar joins WTOP to discuss part of President Biden’s week – including COVID vaccination efforts, an extension of the eviction ban and the damning report on Governor Andrew Cuomo (Listen below and read more about the eviction ban)

October 17, 2021 | Politico’s Anita Kumar on President Biden’s challenges in August and beyond ( )

The ‘cleverness’ of COVID

(By Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Health Affairs Editor-in-Chief Alan Weil tells WTOP we are not on the way to eradicating COVID, we an only hope to control it (Listen below and read)

October 17, 2021 | Health Affairs’ Alan Weil on a critical month or two ahead in fighting COVID ( )



President Biden copes with COVID vaccination resistance, evictions and Governor Andrew Cuomo’s controversy

(By Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

ABC News Political Director Rick Klein talks to WTOP about President Biden’s rotating list of challenges (Listen below and read what we know so far about the Andrew Cuomo investigation)

October 17, 2021 | ABC News Political Director Rick Klein on President Biden’s eviction moratorium and the Cuomo scandal hanging over the Dems ( )


Calls for NY’s Governor Cuomo to step down / Will Youngkin and McAuliffe ever debate in Virginia?

(By Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

We discuss the Andrew Cuomo controversy…and the Virginia governor’s race…with J. Miles Coleman on WTOP (Listen below and read about the Virginia debate haggling)

October 17, 2021 | J. Miles Coleman of the UVA Center for Politics on why the VA. candidates for governor haven’t debated ( )


The best advice is to get vaccinated for COVD

(By Kena Betancur /AFP via Getty Images)

We talk about the spreading COVID Delta variant – and a 70 percent vaccination rate (at least the first shot) for Americans – with Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo of UCSF on WTOP (Listen below and read)

October 17, 2021 | UCSF’s Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo on the Delta variant and COVID’s 4th wave ( )


South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham becomes the first vaccinated senator to test positive for COVID

(By Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Axios Politics Reporter Sarah Mucha talks to WTOP about Graham’s new diagnosis and Kevin McCarthy’s latest comments regarding Nancy Pelosi (Listen below)

October 17, 2021 | Sarah Mucha with Axios on congressional developments/controversies to start off the week ( )


What surging COVID cases mean for the economy during the summer and autumn

(By Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Working Nation President Jane Oates expects an economic slowdown as many of us mask up again (Listen below and read)

October 17, 2021 | Working Nation’s Jane Oates on how coronavirus could slow the economy during the rest of 2021 ( )


‘They’re not going to f**king succeed’: Top generals feared a Donald Trump coup

(Courtesy Penguin Random House)

The Washington Post’s Phil Rucker joins WTOP to discuss the book he co-wrote with WaPo colleague Carol Leonnig  “I Alone Can Fix It” (Listen below and read)

October 17, 2021 | ‘I Alone Can Fix It’ co-author Phil Rucker on WTOP ( )


As the Tokyo Olympics rolls on how is the COVID situation in Tokyo?

(By Behrouz Mehri/AFP via Getty Images)

New York Times Tokyo Bureau Chief Motoko Rich updates WTOP on coronavirus in the Japanese capital during the Games (Listen below and read)

October 17, 2021 | New York Times Tokyo Bureau Chief Motoko Rich on COVID as we approach the Olympics’ halfway point ( )


The Delta variant forces us to mask up again

(By Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

UCSF’s Dr. Monica Gandhi says masking and a new vaccine-push are needed – in some parts of the country – to put down COVID (Listen below and read)

October 17, 2021 | UCSF’s Dr. Monica Gandhi on the latest steps needed to control COVID ( )




Officers feared for their lives on January 6th

(By Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

NBC-4’s Scott MacFarlane gives WTOP his impressions of the first public hearing from the congressional panel investigating the Capitol riot (Listen below and read)

October 17, 2021 | NBC-4 Reporter Scott MacFarlane on what the first public congressional hearing on the Capitol riot could yield ( )


COVID causes chaos across the world’s borders

(Getty Images)

Migration Policy Institute’s Meghan Benton tells WTOP there’s an opportunity to create harmony out of chaos if countries work together to reopen after COVID (Listen below and read about the current EU travel mess)

October 17, 2021 | Migration Policy Institute’s Meghan Benton on another ‘9-11 moment’ for the world’s borders ( )



Veterans Affairs requires COVID shots for most healthcare workers

(Bby Matthew Hatcher/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Nearly 60 medical groups say those who interact with patients must get vaccinated for COVID – The Washington Post’s Dan Diamond reports the voluntary approach seems to have run dry  (Listen below and read)

October 17, 2021 | The Washington Post’s Dan Diamond on health groups insisting their workers get their COVID shots ( )






Republican leaders start promoting COVID vaccines in greater numbers

(By Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

ABC News Political Director Rick Klein tells WTOP vaccine resistance is hardening even as many GOP leaders say it’s now time to get your shots (Listen below and read)

October 17, 2021 | ABC News Political Director Rick Klein on new GOP support for people getting their COVID shots ( )



A new book takes you deep into Trumpworld

(Courtesy Twelve Books)

The Wall Street Journal’s Michael Bender talks to WTOP about his new book  (Listen below and read The Guardian’s take)

November 29, 2021 | (Dimitri Sotis)



COVID’s Delta variant spreads like wildfire

(By Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

UCSF’s Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo tells WTOP Delta means some of us may have to mask up again and everyone must redouble their efforts to get as many people vaccinated as possible (Listen below and read)

October 17, 2021 | UCSF’s Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo on the dangerous Delta variant and the urgency in getting vaccinated ( )




Derek Chauvin’s sentencing is just the beginning

(By Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Michigan State University’s Jennifer Cobbina tells WTOP about the racial justice starting point of Chauvin’s sentencing (Listen below and read about money devoted to racial equity efforts…trouble is we don’t know how much)

October 17, 2021 | Michigan State’s Dr. Jennifer Cobbina on what Derek Chauvin’s sentencing means going forward ( )


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