Cheryl Wills Cuts Through the Noise

With all the talking heads shouting over one another on cable news these days, NY1 anchor Cheryl Wills is spearheading a new show with the goal of getting to the bottom of important issues…without all the histrionics. Her program, In Focus, tackles one issue per episode with great depth – from immigration reform to public education to civil war monuments. Wills joins us on this week’s podcast to give her thoughts on covering the Puerto Rico crisis, and explain what motivates her to facilitate a civil dialogue amidst all the noise.

Sounding the Alarm on Hurricane Relief in Puerto Rico

Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico last week as a Category 4 storm, devastating the island and leaving millions of Americans without power, possibly for as long as 6 months. Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez and Assemblyman Marcos Crespo were both born in and still have family in Puerto Rico, and they visited the territory on Friday with Governor Andrew Cuomo to survey the damage. They told us that the destruction is worse than many people realize, affecting the healthcare and financial crises in Puerto Rico. Crespo and Velasquez also talked about how the president should respond, and what New Yorkers can do to help Puerto Rico along the slow road to recovery.

For more information on how you can help with the recovery effort visit

NY1’s Grace Rauh Just Wants de Blasio to Have Fun

One week after Mayor Bill de Blasio coasted to victory in the Democratic primary election, we’re left questioning whether an election defined by low turnout gives him a “mandate” to continue enacting his agenda. NY1 political reporter Grace Rauh has followed de Blasio since his election in 2013, often literally doorstepping him at various events. She joined the Slant podcast to explain the enthusiasm gap around de Blasio, why he avoids her questions outside of his Park Slope gym, and her ongoing investigation into his emails. Grace also offers a preview at what a second de Blasio term might look like and the future of his relationship with Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Juan González on De Blasio’s Watershed Mayoralty

New York City has had its share of larger-than-life mayors – from Koch to Giuliani to Bloomberg – but none have transferred power to the working class as aggressively as Bill de Blasio. That’s the argument made by former longtime New York Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez in his new book, Reclaiming Gotham – an in-depth account of de Blasio’s rise to power as part of the nationwide progressive movement. By Gonzalez’s calculations, the reforms de Blasio has instituted in his first term transferred more than $20 billion to New York City’s working and middle class residents – a stark contrast to the corporate-oriented policies that have dominated American cities for decades. But Gonzalez is also quick to criticize de Blasio for lacking a vision for a potential second-term and failing to rein in New York City’s increasingly unaffordable housing stock – even calling on the mayor to fire his deputy mayor for housing.

Pollsters Pick Apart Cuomo

Pundits and pollsters alike are assuming that Gov. Andrew Cuomo will make a run for the White House in the 2020 election. But according to Dr. Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, and Steve Greenberg of the Siena College Research Institute, if Cuomo does want to be president, he should give up on his goal of becoming a third term governor. In the second part of our conversation with Miringoff and Greenberg, we talked about how Cuomo’s transit troubles could sink his popularity in 2018 and beyond, possible primary challengers in the gubernatorial election, and the methods behind why and when pollsters ask certain questions.

Pollsters Review the Tape on Trump’s Election

Donald Trump’s election shocked many across the country – but did pollsters really get it wrong? The answer is a resounding no, according to Dr. Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, and Steve Greenberg of Siena College Research Institute, two longtime polling experts who note the clear distinction between the accuracy of pre-election polls and forecasting aggregators like FiveThirtyEight that promoted a misleading narrative. The Slant podcast traveled to the Marist College campus to speak with Miringoff and Greenberg, who did some soul-searching about the results of 2016 election and what it meant for their institutions. The two also parsed some of the reasons for Trump’s victory and debunked some myths around polling.

Discrimination from Charlottesville to Albany, with Dr. Christina Greer

Following this weekend’s Neo-Nazi protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, Dr. Christina Greer, associate professor of political science at Fordham University, told us that the violent events are a direct side effect of the toxic political environment encouraged by President Donald Trump. Dr. Greer spoke with us about the president who she calls the “boy king” and the Republicans in Congress who have enabled him to this point. She also addressed some local issues, like why she believes Nicole Malliotakis doesn’t have the leadership capabilities to serve as mayor, and her secret solution to getting Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio to work together.

This conversation was recorded before President Trump specifically condemned white supremacists on Monday, 2 days after condemning the violence on “many sides.”

Staten Island Fever with Jimmy Oddo

Few New York City elected officials speak with as much candor and passion as Staten Island Borough President Jimmy Oddo. From examining the mistakes made nearly five years after Superstorm Sandy wrecked parts of his borough, to drilling down on the failures of the New York City “perma-government”, Oddo certainly does not pull any punches. We ventured to Staten Island this week to chat with Oddo on a wide range of topics, from Sandy recovery to the borough’s infrastructure needs. Oddo also explains why his endorsement of fellow Staten Islander Nicole Malliotakis for mayor won’t affect his productive relationship with Bill de Blasio.

Best of Slant: Highlights from the First Half of 2017

We’re off this week at the NY Slant podcast, so we thought we’d bring you a short compilation of some of our favorite interviews that we’ve done so far this year.

Guests on this podcast include: Assemblyman Charles Barron, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, NY1 political anchor Errol Louis, and Ben Kabak of the 2nd Avenue Sagas blog.

We’ll be back next week with a new podcast interview.

Broken Windows, Broken Promises with Bob Gangi

Before Mayor Bill de Blasio can face presumptive Republican nominee Nicole Malliotakis in the November general election, he has to get through the September Democratic primary. Bob Gangi, an activist and co-founder of the Police Reform Organizing Project, is challenging de Blasio to be the Democratic nominee, running on a progressive platform, with a focus on reforming the criminal justice system in New York City. He talks about the institutional problems in the NYPD, how de Blasio let down true progressives, and what he would do on his first day as mayor.