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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 Monday and Thursday. read less

Our Editor's Take

The Assignment with Audie Cornish podcast covers stories too nuanced to reduce to a headline. Host Audie Cornish talks to people enduring issues that are trending in the media. She interviews sex workers, gender-affirming doctors, and parents labeled as domestic terrorists. Cornish wants to hear from people in the stories, not people with opinions about them. She is a CNN journalist and former cohost of NPR's All Things Considered.

The first episode of The Assignment with Audie Cornish podcast covers a topic familiar to Cornish. Her mom was an elected school board official. Cornish interviews board members from Florida and Kansas. Both have faced opposition to their stance on school curriculums. They say they want schools to avoid politics and focus on reading, writing, and arithmetic. Cornish senses they're guarding their answers and asks why. She asks them about critical race theory and gender conversations beginning in kindergarten. Cornish notes that curriculum controversy isn't new. She references a 1974 case about multicultural textbooks. Opponents of the literature planted bombs, threw dynamite, and fired guns. Listeners won't believe where they aimed those weapons.

The Assignment with Audie Cornish asks what it's like when jobs become politicized. On the podcast, Cornish interviews pediatricians who provide care for transgender children. One pediatrician says they need more doctors in the field. Listeners hear why there's a shortage. She talks to Dr. Angela Goepferd. The pediatrician founded and directs the Children's Minnesota Gender Health Program. Dr. Goepferd exposes misconceptions about medical care for transgender youth. Listeners discover whether surgery and medication are common for transgender kids. The doctor also shares the questions most families ask during their visit.

Cornish references history in this episode, too. She compares gender-affirming pediatricians' struggles with the abortion doctors of the 1970s. Listeners hear how many arson cases and bombings occurred that decade. It's unfortunate that America still struggles with injustices like these. But it's fortunate that journalists like Cornish expose them. New episodes of The Assignment with Audie Cornish come out on Thursdays.

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