Steve Inskeep

Steve Inskeep is host of NPR's Morning Edition, the most widely heard radio news program in the United States. He co-hosts the program with Renee Montagne and David Greene.

Known for probing questions to everyone from presidents to warlords to musicians, Inskeep has a passion for stories of the less famous—like an American soldier who lost both feet in Afghanistan, or an Ethiopian woman's extraordinary journey to the United States.

Since joining Morning Edition in 2004, Inskeep has hosted the program from New Orleans, Detroit, Karachi, Cairo, Houston and Tehran; investigated Iraqi police in Baghdad; and received a 2006 Robert F. Kennedy journalism award for "The Price of African Oil," on conflict in Nigeria. In 2012 he traveled 2,700 miles across North Africa in the wake of the Arab Spring. In 2013 he reported from war-torn Syria, and on Iran's historic election. In 2014 he drove with colleagues 2,428 miles along the entire U.S.-Mexico border; the resulting radio series, "Borderland," won widespread attention, as did the acclaimed NPR online magazine of the same name.

Inskeep says Morning Edition works to "slow down the news," making sense of fast-moving events. A prime example came during the 2008 Presidential campaign, when Inskeep and NPR's Michele Norris conducted "The York Project," groundbreaking conversations about race, which received an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton for excellence.

Inskeep was hired by NPR in 1996. His first full-time assignment was the 1996 presidential primary in New Hampshire. He went on to cover the Pentagon, the Senate, and the 2000 presidential campaign of George W. Bush. After the September 11, 2001, attacks, he covered the war in Afghanistan, turmoil in Pakistan, and the war in Iraq. In 2003, he received a National Headliner Award for investigating a military raid gone wrong in Afghanistan. He has twice been part of NPR News teams awarded the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton for coverage of Iraq.

On days of bad news, Inskeep is inspired by the Langston Hughes book, Laughing to Keep From Crying. Of hosting Morning Edition during the 2008 financial crisis and Great Recession, he told Nuvo magazine when "the whole world seemed to be falling apart, it was especially important for me ... to be amused, even if I had to be cynically amused, about the things that were going wrong. Laughter is a sign that you're not defeated."

Inskeep is the author of Instant City: Life and Death in Karachi, a 2011 book on one of the world's great megacities. He is also author of Jacksonland, a forthcoming history of President Andrew Jackson's long-running conflict with John Ross, a Cherokee chief who resisted the removal of Indians from the eastern United States in the 1830's.

He has been a guest on numerous TV programs including ABC's This Week, NBC's Meet the Press, MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports, CNN's Inside Politics and the PBS Newhour. He has written for publications including The New York Times, Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and The Atlantic.

A native of Carmel, Indiana, Inskeep is a graduate of Morehead State University in Kentucky.

Donald Trump has a big problem: Even though he has garnered heavy support in the GOP primary, those millions of voters make up a fraction of the electorate likely to vote this fall. And nearly two-thirds of that larger electorate dislikes him. An NBC News/ Wall Street Journal survey earlier this month found that 64 percent of voters disapproved of Trump. They've reached this conclusion after watching Trump on the national stage for decades, combined with the rising vitriol in the current...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep. Romania got a moment of fame. Rap star Snoop Dogg was in Bogota, Colombia and mistakenly entered his location on social media as Bogota, Romania, which caused excitement. The tiny town's mayor invited him for cabbage stew. Our friends at Vice sent a reporter to check out the town, finding scenic views and people growing hemp. Snoop Dogg later said he Steve Harveyed (ph)...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: Let's listen to the election as it looks to one Florida voter. Michael Gonzales (ph) stepped out of a polling place yesterday in West Tampa. He's a Cuban-American with his values on display. He wore an I Voted sticker and a silver cross on a chain and a Tampa Bay Buccaneers T-shirt. He cast his vote yesterday for Democrat Hillary Clinton. MICHAEL GONZALES: Clinton, only in hopes that she names her...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: Another round of presidential primaries has intensified the pressure on Republicans hoping to defeat Donald Trump. He won three primaries last night, including the big state of Michigan. DAVID GREENE, HOST: Ted Cruz won a single state - Idaho. John Kasich won nowhere but had a strong showing in Michigan. INSKEEP: Marco Rubio had one of his worst nights yet. He finished nowhere better than third and...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: The United States is not the only country holding an election. Iran is choosing a Parliament today, which is big deal because Iran is deciding after a nuclear agreement how much, if at all, the country will change. Just how Iran runs an election says a lot about its version of democracy. Not everybody is allowed to run, and we have the story of a candidate who was refused. In Iran recently, we visited...

Why would Iranians visit their country's most spectacular ancient sites and come away disappointed? We talked with 10 Iranian visitors to Persepolis, the ruins of an ancient Persian capital, and found a collective sense of unease — less with the ruins themselves than with what they imply about the world around them. Consider a young woman who took a selfie amid the stones. "This is so beautiful," she said as she stood near 2,500-year-old limestone columns. She'd come with her husband on...

Iran has eagerly opened its doors to foreign investment now that a nuclear deal has cleared the way. So why is Iran still holding prisoner an Iranian-American businessman? This is one of the contradictions of the moment in Iran, where economic sanctions were lifted weeks ago. During seven days in the country, producer Emily Ochsenschlager and I found ourselves sitting next to British and German businessmen at hotel breakfast buffets. We met a builder eager for foreign investment to finish the...

Last year, an Iranian economist named Mohammad Mehdi Behkish was extremely optimistic about prospects for a nuclear deal that would end many economic sanctions on his country. "Personally, I would say it can't be that there would not be a deal," he told me when I met him in Tehran. The alternative, he said, was disaster. Behkish leads Iran's International Chamber of Commerce . When I met him again this month in his Tehran office, he sounded even more optimistic. "We are actually in a new...

Saeed Laylaz has had an eventful seven years. When I first met him at his home in early 2009, he was a businessman, writer and former government official. He recognized some of the flaws in Iran's Islamic republic, but spoke optimistically about his country's direction. Soon afterward, he went to prison for his political views. Eventually, I heard he'd been freed. When visiting Tehran earlier this month, I heard he was even working again. So I went to find him. He was one of several...

What does the lifting of economic sanctions against Iran, as part of a nuclear deal, mean for one Iranian?

We met a carpet weaver in the ancient city of Shiraz. She spends her days on the floor of a little room. Working swiftly by hand, she ties knots with little bits of wool — orange, green, white and two shades of red. Wool threads stretch across a steel frame like strings on a harp. Her clothes — loose, and flowing, and colorful — identify her as part of a traditional nomadic...

Just ahead of Valentine's Day, we visited the tomb of a poet who wrote often of love. The 14th century Persian poet Hafez is buried in Shiraz, the city where he lived almost 700 years ago. He remains venerated in Iran, even though he wrote of romance and other topics that are not obviously embraced in the modern-day Islamic Republic. One of his lines: "Oh Cup-bearer, set my glass afire with the light of wine!" We reached the tomb of Hafez — the pen name for the man born Khwaja Shamsuddīn...

We've been talking with a Sunni Muslim who lives in Shiite-dominated Iran. He's a member of one of the two great sects of Islam, which are increasingly seen in conflict. His story suggests just how perilous that conflict could be. Last month, a crowd in Tehran attacked the embassy of Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia. They were protesting Saudi Arabia's execution of a Saudi Shiite cleric who had criticized the Saudi government. The Iranian torching of the Saudi Embassy became another episode in...

Ebrahim Pourfaraj wants to build the biggest hotel in all of Iran. He's already started his project in the far north Tehran, a wealthy zone where the city climbs up the slopes of the snow-capped Alborz Mountains. You get out of the car, carefully stepping over the little mountain stream that flows in a channel beside the curb. After stepping through a construction trailer, you emerge on a steel-mesh platform looking over the edge of an enormous hole. The sheer scale is amazing. Construction...

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush provoked much reaction on social media this morning with a theory of Donald Trump's rise. Bush says President Obama paved the way for it. The former Florida governor made the remark in a year-ending interview with NPR News. Bush is trying to recover after Trump knocked him out of front-runner status in the drive for the party's nomination. Trump, who publicly questioned the authenticity of Obama's birth certificate during the latest election, started...

Britain rarely drops a bomb on Syria unless Michael Fallon approves it first. British forces began bombing ISIS targets in Syria this month. And Fallon, a civilian who serves as secretary of state for defense, tells NPR that he insists on personally signing off before Royal Air Force Tornado warplanes strike a target. Fallon's remarks on Morning Edition underscore how Western powers are struggling to damage ISIS without causing the kind of civilian deaths that would undermine the legitimacy...

President Obama's administration contends that refugees are not the true source of U.S. security concerns. Jeh Johnson, the secretary of Homeland Security, tells NPR that the real concern may be a person traveling as an ordinary tourist from Europe. Johnson's department is tightening the visa waiver program , under which visitors from 38 countries, including much of Europe, may travel to the United States without applying for visas. Administration and congressional leaders in both parties...

Cecile Richards is walking a fine line: She paints the shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic as one of many attacks linked to "hateful rhetoric." She doesn't specifically say that rhetoric motivated the attack Friday in Colorado Springs. The president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America spoke with NPR on Monday morning about the attack that left three people dead: a mother of two children, an Iraq war veteran, a police officer. Richards spoke of an "incredible escalation of...

Michigan's Rick Snyder was the first governor to urge a pause in admitting Syrian refugees into the United States. He triggered a national debate about refugee resettlement, and insists now that he only wants answers. The Republican has described himself as "the most pro-immigration governor in the country," but he argues the caution he wants the U.S. to show doesn't conflict with the compassion thinks should be shown to refugees. More than two dozen governors have followed in Snyder's lead...

Did Vladimir Putin just trick himself into solving Syria's war? A leading U.S. diplomat contends the answer is yes. Russia, he says, has so badly mangled its intervention in Syria that it may have little choice but to favor settling the conflict. The diplomat, Tony Blinken, tells me that's the only honorable way for Russia to get out. Listen here: Blinken, the deputy secretary of state, has an office down the hall from John Kerry. He was previously President Obama's deputy national security...

Jay Inslee says he won't join the growing list of governors who say they don't want Syrian refugees within their state borders. In an interview with NPR's Morning Edition, the governor of Washington state publicly welcomed refugees, citing the inscription on the Statue of Liberty, warning fellow governors against "fear," and insisting that background checks minimize whatever risk the refugees may pose. Inslee, a Democrat, said refugees already receive far more screening than visitors on ...

Republican Sen. John McCain critiqued President Obama's strategy against ISIS today, casting doubt on claims that a political settlement may be near in Syria. He also responded to Obama, who yesterday challenged critics of his administration's strategy. "If folks want to pop off and have opinions about what they think they would do, present a specific plan," the president said, sparking an Internet sensation. Morning Edition played the president's remark to McCain, who has been one of the...

Sen. Marco Rubio clarified his view on the 11 million immigrants, who are in the United States illegally. The day after a presidential debate, which exposed a continuing divide in the Republican Party on immigration, Rubio told NPR on Wednesday that he favors a path to citizenship for some, though the prospect would be very distant. "If you haven't been here very long, or you're a criminal, you will be deported," Rubio told NPR's Morning Edition . "Otherwise, you will have to come forward,...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep, with a hoped-for advance in auto safety. Volvo says it's working on technology to detect kangaroos. The car company already deploys radar and cameras that can detect people or cyclists and the system automatically hits the brakes. But kangaroos move quickly and erratically and take a special effort to detect. Engineers are studying this problem in Australia, which...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep. Back in 1962, Bill Steinfelt discovered a painting. The painting showed Batman, his cape tucked in front of his face. And it was called "A Sinister Figure Lurks In The Dark." To buy the painting from the unknown artist, Mr. Steinfelt traded comic books. Now the painting is worth a bit more. It was made by Mel Ramos, who went on to become a well-known artist. And Batman just sold...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. It's never too late to say you're sorry. More than 50 years ago, in 1962, Grove City College fired Larry Gara from his teaching job. They said he was a communist and a bad teacher. Decades later, a researcher found Gara's case and persuaded the college to apologize. He was actually a pacifist who'd gone to jail for refusing to register for the draft. Gara says he never...

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