The Assignment with Audie Cornish

The Assignment with Audie Cornish

Each week on The Assignment, host Audie Cornish pulls listeners out of their digital echo chambers to hear from the people whose lives intersect with the news cycle. From the sex work economy to the battle over what’s taught in classrooms, no topic is off the table. Listen to The Assignment every Tuesday and Thursday.


December 7, 2023 33 mins
Ken Burns has been called “America’s Storyteller.” Audie spoke with him live on stage about his process, and about trying to get to the truth of a subject, especially in a political and cultural climate that actively challenges the very idea of truth. Their conversation was part of The Connecticut Forum's season of live, unscripted conversations among renowned experts and celebrities.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaph...
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The Obama/Biden ticket’s historic victory in 2008 was the result of massive turnout from Black voters, young voters, and college-educated Americans. Audie talks with Ashley Allison, a CNN commentator and former National Coalitions Director for Biden-Harris 2020 campaign, about the challenge Democrats face holding that coalition together. Call and leave us your Assignments: (202) 854-8802 or email Learn more a...
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November 30, 2023 25 mins
The 28th annual United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP28, begins this week. As global leaders convene to address the urgent challenges of our planet's changing climate, two creative minds join Audie to explore how we process the climate crisis. She explores how these creators infuse hope into their narratives, envisioning a world where art and storytelling inspire action and solutions.  For all of CNN’s COP28 covera...
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November 28, 2023 28 mins
Mass deportations, a weaponized justice department, purges of civil servants: these are among the plans that former President Trump and his allies are making for a second term in the White House. CNN national correspondent Kristen Holmes has been traveling to Trump’s rallies and she has an analysis of what’s in the works for MAGA 2.0. Call and leave us your Assignments: (202) 854-8802 or email  Reporting from...
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November 23, 2023 36 mins
The number of Americans who would say that they’re “extremely proud to be American” is at a record low, according to a recent Gallup poll. Perhaps that’s not surprising, given widespread political divisiveness across the country. Today – in time for Thanksgiving – Audie sits down with writer, comedian, and activist Baratunde Thurston to talk about what it means to be patriotic in an age of growing disillusionment. And more importan...
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November 20, 2023 26 mins
New polling shows that Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley has moved into second place in New Hampshire, behind Donald Trump. Haley's momentum hasn’t gone unnoticed by the anti-Trump fundraisers looking for a horse to back. Audie talks with CNN Political Commentator Kevin Madden about the state of the race, and what Haley needs to do to maintain her momentum. Madden has worked on several Republican campaigns, including Mi...
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November 16, 2023 32 mins
We are revisiting the public school culture wars – this time, from the perspective of students. What have we learned from the kids who are fighting against book bans? How has the war over books sparked a backlash to the so-called parents’ rights movement?   We call up two busy teen activists – Da’Taeveyon Daniels in Texas and Eliza Lane in Florida – to find out. And CNN correspondent Elle Reeve, who covers how extremism percolates ...
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Ahead of President Biden's meeting with Chinese President Xi, CNN spoke to Americans who are being hounded and harassed by the Chinese government's brazen online disinformation campaign. Correspondent Donie O’Sullivan reported the story and joins Audie to walk through the lengths Beijing will go to silence online critics, even those on US soil.  Donie O’Sullivan is a CNN Correspondent. Read his full story here.   And we’d love to h...
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November 9, 2023 32 mins
Last year the Army missed its recruitment goal; it had 65,000 spots to fill and came in 10,000 short. Audie talks with a former recruiter about what he saw as some of the challenges the Army faces when it comes to recruitment, including cultural shifts around everything from marijuana use to mental health. And we hear from Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth about how the Army is responding to recruitment shortfalls.  Learn mor...
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November 7, 2023 25 mins
New polling shows President Biden trailing Donald Trump in key battleground states, and that has many Democrats worried about his re-election prospects. Can anything be done to turn the numbers around? Or should the President bow out? Audie talks with CNN Senior Political Commentator and longtime Obama advisor David Axelrod who’s said that the President must decide whether it’s wise to run given the political headwinds he’s facing....
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November 2, 2023 29 mins
Dive into the world of online detectives tracking down January 6th insurrectionists. How did a dedicated community of digital sleuths help the FBI bring thousands to justice? Audie sits down with Ryan Reilly, the author of "Sedition Hunters: How January 6th Broke the Justice System," for a journey through the realm of modern digital investigations. Call us with your Assignments: ‪(202) 854-8802‬. Learn more about your ad choices. V...
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October 31, 2023 24 mins
Lawyers who represented former President Donald Trump face a tough choice: cooperate with prosecutors or face the wrath of the MAGA movement. CNN’s senior reporter of crime and justice Katelyn Polantz is here to break down the different factions of Trump associates and their perilous paths ahead. What’s to become of "The Kraken," "The Pound Sand Club," and... Mark Meadows? Call and leave us your political Assignments: (202) 854-880...
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October 26, 2023 25 mins
Book sales — in general — are down, but one genre is bucking that trend: romance. Romance novel sales surged a whopping 52% in 2022. So what’s behind the popularity? How did romance become the reigning champion among fiction genres in America? To find out we talk with Leah Koch and Bea Hodges-Koch, owners of The Ripped Bodice, a single-genre bookstore focused on romance novels.  To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy...
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October 24, 2023 28 mins
More than a decade ago, Kevin McCarthy, Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor pitched themselves as the future of the Republican Party. They even gave themselves a nickname: The Young Guns. Now those dreams are dashed, The Young Guns are scattered to the wind, and House Republicans are rudderless, unable to elect a Speaker ten months into their majority. How did we get here? S.E. Cupp, a conservative political commentator for CNN, breaks down ...
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October 19, 2023 23 mins
Thousands of people have already been killed in the Israel-Hamas conflict. And Israel has told residents of northern Gaza to evacuate roughly 20 miles to the south for their own safety. This week Audie talks with CNN’s Yahya Abou-Ghazala as he shares the stories of the people who have been told to flee, and what it’s been like trying to get stories out of Gaza right now.  Read Yahya’s recent stories:  They followed evacuation order...
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October 17, 2023 22 mins
How do Americans feel about Israel? Broadly, there is deep sympathy for Israel and its response to Hamas in Gaza. But polling shows that among America’s more diverse, younger generation, attitudes toward both Israel and Palestinians are more complicated.  Harry Enten, Senior Data Reporter at CNN, is here to parse the numbers and tease out some conclusions.  Oct. 15 CNN Poll: Americans are deeply sympathetic toward Israelis and see ...
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Writer Roxane Gay comes from a generation of what you might call “very online.” She gained international fame because she had a distinctive voice that stood far from the madding crowd on social media. This week Audie talks with Roxane about her new collection of essays, “Opinions,” how her opinions have changed, what it's like to become famous for sharing them, and how social media changed the way we all think about criticism and p...
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October 10, 2023 24 mins
The political landscape has never been more confusing, and to some, even overwhelming. How do we determine fact from fiction? What keeps fact-checkers up at night? And what’s a democracy to do when even the professionals aren't believed? Today, we have Daniel Dale, a CNN senior reporter who rose to prominence for fact-checking former President Donald Trump, and Matthew Facciani, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Notre ...
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October 5, 2023 25 mins
Big news: The Assignment is expanding to twice a week! Starting October 10th, The Assignment takes on politics. Every Tuesday we will go beyond the horserace — talking with journalists with a sharp understanding of this political moment. This is in addition to our regular Thursday podcast, where we talk with people whose lives intersect with the headlines.  To kick off our weekly political pod, we’ve invited CNN Political Director ...
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September 28, 2023 29 mins
How do you take a story everyone thinks they know, and look at it through a new lens? What role – if any – does the identity of the translator play in the retelling of a story? And what is it like telling your own story after spending much of your career interpreting – and being interpreted by – others?  This week, Audie chats with Emily Wilson. Wilson is the translator of Homeric epics like “The Odyssey.” She is a professor of Cla...
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