Jonathan McNicol | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

Jonathan McNicol

Producer, The Colin McEnroe Show / Host, The Second First Season

Jonathan started at WNPR as an intern in 2010 and was hired later that year. In his work, Jonathan is always just trying to figure out a little bit of how the world works, while paying special attention to the absurd and the just plain goofy. He is as likely to produce a show on America’s jury system as he is a story on all the grossest parts of the human body. His work has been heard nationally on Here & Now and locally on WNPR’s talk shows, on Morning Edition, and on All Things Considered.

Jonathan comes to radio from a background in, of all things, graphic design. He lives in the greater New Haven area.

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Jonathan McNicol / Connecticut Public Radio

Laura Nyro's most famous compositions -- "Stoned Soul Picnic," "Stoney End," "When I Die," "Wedding Bell Blues," "Eli's Coming" -- are jewels of mainstream music, and her covers of songs like "Jimmy Mack" and "Gonna Take a Miracle" are legendary.

But she was uncomfortable under the spotlight and withdrew from it to become the Belle of Danbury.

On December 13, 2019, the House Judiciary Committee voted to recommend two articles of impeachment against President Trump, and the full House of Representatives adopted them on December 18. On February 5, 2020, the Senate acquitted the president on both articles.

Going by those dates, the full, official impeachment saga lasted 54 days.

Our side-project, Saturday-show chronicling of the impeachment, Pardon Me (Another Damn Impeachment Show?), launched on December 6, 2019. 11 episodes and 12 hours of radio later, Pardon Me has come to its close.

This hour, in lieu of a proper Colin McEnroe Show, and continuing the Presidents' Day weekend festivities, we present the final installment of Pardon Me.

Four Department of Justice prosecutors working on the case of Roger Stone, a close friend of President Trump, withdrew from legal proceedings Tuesday after Attorney General William Barr overruled their sentencing recommendations. The president had complained about the long sentence.

Barr denied that President Trump asked him to intervene and claimed he wouldn't be "bullied or influenced by anybody." He said Thursday that the president should stop tweeting about DOJ criminal cases. The president took to Twitter Friday to say he has the "legal right." Shortly therafter, the DOJ dropped their probe into former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

Before you think this is more than theater, keep in mind that Barr also set up a process to vet information that Rudy Giuliani is gathering in Ukraine. And he tasked prosecutors to review the case of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

Home Box Office, Inc.

The Outsider is a planned 10-episode HBO miniseries based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. It airs on Sundays nights, and we're six episodes in so far. The premise is actually pretty simple: What if a guy actually were in two places at once? Then what? The ramifications of that, though, are about as complicated as you'd expect from Stephen King.

And: a look at the Gayle King/Snoop Dogg controversy, our latest edition of Carolyn Paine Explains a New Dating Term, and Netflix finally changes that one thing you've always hated... unless you didn't hate it.

Note: This episode contains strong language.

This hour, we air an updated version of the most recent episode of our weekly impeachment show, Pardon Me, which normally airs Saturdays at noon.

The Senate acquitted President Trump on both articles of the impeachment. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, was the only Republican who voted to convict the president on one charge, for "egregious" behavior he believed rose to the level of a "high crime and misdemeanor."

LOREN JAVIER / flickr creative commons

Every year, The Nose almost accidentally ends up covering a broad swath of the movies that wind up being nominated for Oscars.

I was a little worried this year, though, that some nonsense that's going on with the government (and its attendant preemptions) might prevent us from seeing and talking about as many of the awards season movies as we'd like to.

It turns out that, one way or another, we somehow got to 15 Oscar-nominated films accounting for fully 71 Academy Award nominations. Phew.

Note: This episode contains strong language.

The Senate acquitted President Trump on both articles of the impeachment. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, was the only Republican who voted to convict the president on one charge, for "egregious" behavior he believed rose to the level of a "high crime and misdemeanor."

President Trump responded with anger. He fumed at his perceived enemies at Thursday's National Prayer Breakfast. They include members of Congress, people on his staff, FBI agents, and even the state of New York. Senate Republicans hoping for a more subdued Trump were wrong. Others knew better. One remains hopeful.

John Eckman / flickr creative commons

We've done this show every year around this time for some number of years now. Unless we missed a year or two in there somewhere. But we've probably tried to do this show for every year that The Nose has existed. Of course, we aren't really sure how many years The Nose has existed.

But the point is: The 92nd Academy Awards are this Sunday, and so this hour, it's the 2020 edition of The Noscars, which will cover movies from 2019 just like the 2020 edition of the Oscars covers movies from 2019. Or something.

The Senate has voted, 51 to 49, not to subpoena witnesses or documents in its impeachment trial of President Trump. Closing arguments are expected on Monday, and a verdict could come next Wednesday afternoon.

This week, Colin and The Gist's Mike Pesca puzzle over the Republican strategy and Alan Dershowitz. He's the Trump attorney who argued that the president could engage in a quid pro quo that benefited him personally as long as he believes his reelection is in the public interest. Dershowitz believes the media misunderstood his argument. These are his words.

And New York Times TV critic James Poniewozik gets into the impeachment as television. He's not entirely sure democracy will be renewed for another season.

Chief Justice John Roberts scolded House managers and the President's counsel early Wednesday for using language beneath the dignity of the world's "greatest deliberative body." This, after Senator Susan Collins complained about "unsettling comments" she felt went against Senate rules of decorum.

Speaking of decorum, senators played with fidget spinners and did crossword puzzles while House managers made their case for impeachment. Enough of this pettifoggery!

President Trump fretted this week that White House lawyer Pat Cippolone and personal lawyer Jay Sekulow lacked experience on television. So he added a few TV-ready lawyers to the mix, each with scripted roles to play.

This week, Lawfare's Benjamin Wittes and Susan Hennessey argue that President Trump has changed the presidency from one of public service to one that serves his personal interests. Will we ratify his vision or reject it? It may be up to voters to decide.

Also this hour: Slate's Stephen Metcalf thinks Trump is a hostage to 1979. Why else would he be obsessed with U.S. embassies and Jimmy Carter?

And singer/songwriter Lara Herscovitch proves music is the antidote to our troubled times.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Sam Mendes's World War I drama, 1917, is currently the #1 movie in America. It won Golden Globe Awards for Best Director and Best Picture -- Drama, and it's nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, and Cinematography. The cinematography nomination is probably the least surprising one, as the entire movie is shot to look as though it was one long, unbroken take.

This hour, we air an updated version of the most recent episode of our weekly impeachment show, Pardon Me, which normally airs Saturdays at noon.

Law professor Bruce Ackerman argues that President Trump's order to kill Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani is a far graver offense than his efforts to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden. Think about it: He's bragging about his decision to kill a high-ranking official of another country. Will Chief Justice John Roberts save us?

And that's the positive view on the show this week.

Law professor Bruce Ackerman argues that President Trump's order to kill Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani is a far graver offense than his efforts to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden. Think about it: He's bragging about his decision to kill a high-ranking official of another country. Will Chief Justice John Roberts save us?

And that's the positive view on our show this week.

Sarah Kendzior studies autocratic governments. She thinks we'd be foolish to believe there are limits to what the Trump administration would do -- whether jailing witnesses and whistleblowers, threatening protesters, or using nuclear weapons.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

The Rise of Skywalker is the third and final movie in the third (and final?) trilogy -- the sequel trilogy in the trilogy of trilogies -- in the main, so-called "Skywalker Saga" of the Star Wars narrative. It's the eleventh Star Wars movie overall, the fifth since Disney bought Lucasfilm and took over the franchise, and the second directed by JJ Abrams (after The Force Awakens, the first of the Disney Star Wars films and the highest-grossing movie in the history of the United States). It is... somewhat divisive. The Nose weighs in.

And: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have announced that they're backing away from their role as royals.

Plus: Winter. You either hate it, or you love it.

Last month, we launched a whole other show. It's a weekly show airing on Saturdays at noon and hitting your podcast feeds on Fridays most weeks hopefully. It's called Pardon Me (Another Damn Impeachment Show?). It's about all the latest trends and tech in the world of industrial welding. Wait, no. That's not right. It's about the impeachment, silly.

Professor Michael Gerhardt argues that the impeachment process is legitimate, despite efforts by President Trump and his defenders to deny it. It is the president's conduct that is not normal.

Gerhardt was one of four law professors summoned by the House Judiciary Committee in December, to share their legal expertise on whether President Trump's conduct met the legal threshold for impeachment. Three out of four of them believe it did.

Also this hour: State Department witness George Kent's bow tie and Rep. Jim Jordan's jacket have their own Twitter accounts. Nancy Pelosi's dagger-like gold pin turned heads on the day she opened up House debate on the president's impeachment. We talk about the fashion semiotics of impeachment.

Peter Sokolowski, lexicographer at Merriam-Webster, fears we're currently having a crisis of meaning in our cultural understanding and use of words.

How do we understand phrases like "fake news"? Does it mean news that has no relationship to reality or is it how President Trump refers to truth-based news he doesn't like? What is an "alternative fact"?

There's a good chance that President Trump knows that the stain of impeachment will be part of his legacy. And as damning details about the president's behavior trickle out, we're realizing how much we still don't know. This may explain why impeachment may be more popular than we realize.

Universal Pictures

Cats -- the new feature film based on the musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and starring James Cordon, Judi Dench, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, and others -- opened last weekend and grossed $6.6 million in the U.S. It is the 19th-worst opening for any movie in very wide release in history. The 18 movies that opened to less money on a similar number of screens are mostly a bunch of stuff that you don't remember ever existed: Hoot, The Seeker: Dark Rising, Fun Size, Hardcore Henry, Keeping Up with the Joneses, The Wild Thornberrys Movie, etc.

Oh, and I forgot to say: In addition to being a financial disaster, Cats is also... terrible. It earned a C+ CinemaScore from audiences (which is really bad). And it's at 18% on the Tomatometer (which is really rotten). It's so bad that Universal released an updated version to theaters early this week that has hopefully slightly less bad special effects.

Chion Wolf (file photo) / Connecticut Public Radio

Don't miss -- for what might just be the seventh year we've done this (though it might also be some other number too) -- a very badly planned Christmas Eve special featuring chaos muppet and music legend , the great Jim Chapdelaine, and State Troubadour Nekita Waller!

There's actually some question whether President Trump has officially been impeached, it turns out.

In any case, on Wednesday, December 18, the U.S. House of Representatives passed two Articles of Impeachment charging the president with abuse of power and obstruction of congress.

On our third full episode, we talk to the founder of Politico about the huge difference a tiny bit of self-control would make to the Trump presidency and a Yale historian about what those crazy founders were thinking when they put impeachment in the Constitution in the first place.

Plus: Our first AccuFrankie report from the Target parking lot in New Britain, Conn., and a song performed live in our studios by Nekita Waller, "Big Al" Anderson, Jim Chapdelaine, and The Shinolas.

On Friday, December 13, the House Committee on the Judiciary voted 23 to 17 to send two Articles of Impeachment to the full House of Representatives for consideration.

On Episode 2 of Pardon Me, Yale Law School's Emily Bazelon joins us to look at the legal ins and outs of the articles, the House vote, and a future Senate trial; The New Yorker's Adam Gopnik tells us to "Stop Saying That Impeachment Is Political"; and our friends from Sea Tea Improv in Hartford stop by to perform a holiday-themed, Scrooge/Trump mashup sketch.

Sony Pictures

The Nose is off this week (because, on any given day, it's entirely possible that our whole show will be off with all this impeachment nonsense going on), so David Edelstein joins Colin for the hour to talk about some of the best (and some of the worst) movies of the year.

We're preempted (again) today as the House Judiciary Committee debates its Articles of Impeachment. So, in lieu of a new episode of The Colin McEnroe Show, we thought you might enjoy this interview we did with Dave Eggers for our new, other show, Pardon Me (Another Damn Impeachment Show?). Pardon Me airs on Saturdays at noon on Connecticut Public Radio, and it's available wherever you get your podcasts.

Adam Gopnik is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of A Thousand Small Sanities: The Moral Adventure of Liberalism. We talked to Gopnik late last week about his New Yorker piece on the impeachment called, "Stop Saying That Impeachment Is Political."

This interview will run, likely in a form very similar to this one, in this week's Episode 2 of Pardon Me. But we're making it available to you now because... well, because why not, really.

Blogtrepreneur / flickr creative commons

We had intended to run the debut episode of our new other show, Pardon Me (Another Damn Impeachment Show?), in our hour today. But then the Democrats unveiled two articles of impeachment against President Trump. And so suddenly airing a show from last weekend seemed like a bad idea.

So instead, we take to the airwaves with you as our only guest. Call in and let Colin know what you're thinking: 888-720-WNPR (888-720-9677).

Dave Eggers is the author of six books for young readers, including The Wild Things; three works of nonfiction, including Zeitoun; twelve novels, including What Is the What, A Hologram for the King, and The Circle; and the memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction. He has written three screenplays, including Where the Wild Things Are with Spike Jonze. And he is the founder of McSweeney’s.

Are you having trouble keeping up with the nonstop impeachment information coming your way? If you're starting to confuse Gordon Sondland with Rudy Giuliani, then you should start listening to Pardon Me (Another Damn Impeachment Show?), our weekly answer to your confusion. 

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