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.

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Book Reviews
4:28 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Second-Person Narrator Tells Readers 'How To' Live, Love — And Get Filthy Rich

Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 8:08 am

This is not the first time Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid has taken a risky approach to a novel. His The Reluctant Fundamentalist was written entirely in the second person. The bearded narrator of that book sits at a tea stall in Lahore, talking about his drift toward extremism while directly addressing "you," the reader, who is taken to be an increasingly jumpy and terrified American across the table.

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Research News
2:45 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Deciphering Hidden Biases During Interviews

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 9:18 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Benjamin Franklin said the only certain things are death and taxes. Let's add a third thing: Interviews. At many points, starting with school admissions or a new job, you're going to sit down before someone else and answer their questions.

Which is what NPR's Shankar Vedantam is about to do with us because he's got some new research relating to this topic. Hi, Shankar.

SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

INSKEEP: And let's begin this interview. What's the new research about?

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Analysis
3:41 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Vatican Is Without Sitting Pope

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 4:37 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. In Italy the papacy is officially vacant. The Vatican is now under the control of the cardinals who will elect a new leader of the Catholic Church. Yesterday Pope Benedict XVI gave up his ring, his cape and red papal shoes to become Pope Emeritus. Cokie Roberts was there, joins us from Rome. Hi, Cokie.

COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

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Law
3:21 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Witnesses To Take The Stand In BP Trial

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 7:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

Today, a federal judge in New Orleans hears from witnesses to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A civil trial of BP opened yesterday in a case to determine blame and financial liability for the environmental disaster that was the worst disaster in U.S. history.

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Books
11:04 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Finding A Path For Pakistan At The Karachi Literature Festival

Attendees browse books on offer at the fourth annual Karachi Literature Festival.
Muhammad Umair Ali

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 2:26 pm

Friends in Karachi had me over for a beer Sunday evening. It wasn't hard for them to do. Alcohol is broadly outlawed in Pakistan, but with so many exceptions and so little enforcement, you can usually find something — in this case, tallboy cans of Murree's Millennium Brew from a Pakistani brewery.

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NPR Story
4:10 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Syria Accuses Israel Of Bombing Its Military Facility

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 10:52 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's sort through what we know and do not know about Israel's reported airstrike on Syria. Syrian officials, the government of Bashar al-Assad, have affirmed that Israeli warplanes struck, although we have conflicting reports about what the target was. We're going to work through the information with NPR's Jerusalem correspondent, Larry Abramson. Hi, Larry.

LARRY ABRAMSON, BYLINE: Hi there, Steve.

INSKEEP: What do you know, and how do you know it?

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Analysis
4:00 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Bipartisan Group Agrees To Overhauling Immigration

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 8:11 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

We have a clearer picture this morning of just what an immigration overhaul might look like.

INSKEEP: A bipartisan group of senators is spreading word that they have agreed on principles for change.

MONTAGNE: The proposal would include a pathway to citizen for millions of people now in the U.S. illegally. Republicans have led the opposition to that change, up to now, commonly calling it amnesty.

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Middle East
2:22 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Grim Situation Starts To Lift In Aleppo, Syria

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 4:57 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

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Sports
3:55 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Major League Baseball Enacts Anti-Doping Policies

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 6:35 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Major League Baseball has enacted new anti-doping policies that are being described as unprecedented in American professional sports. Yesterday, Major League Baseball and its Players Union said that starting next year they will be fighting the use of human growth hormone and testosterone - two allegedly popular banned substances.

NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman has been covering this story. Tom, good morning.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Good morning, Steve.

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NPR Story
3:39 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Baseball Writers Vote For No Hall Of Fame Candidates

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 1:04 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Baseball writers send a message when they vote for candidates for the Hall of Fame, both in who they select and in who they pass up. And for the first time since 1996, only the eighth time in baseball history that baseball writers decided not to nominate anyone for induction. The winners are no one. The pool of candidates was one of the most star-studded ever. It included Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa - players all linked to performance-enhancing drugs.

NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins me. Good morning.

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Around the Nation
4:06 am
Tue January 8, 2013

How Do gun Bans Affect Violent Crime Rates?

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 5:28 am

On Monday, Morning Edition explored crime rates in Chicago and how the murder rate went up in 2012. That was against national trends and even against Chicago's long-range decline in crime. We discussed police focus on "hot spots," and the dissolution of gangs. But listeners asked: What about gun bans?

Economy
3:46 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Hours Left To 'Fiscal Cliff' Deadline

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 4:43 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On the final day of the year, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

We still do not know if taxes will be going up as the ball in New York City's Times Square goes down.

INSKEEP: Congressional negotiators are still discussing ways at the White House to avoid the higher tax rates and spending cuts due to take effect after midnight tonight.

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U.S.
7:41 am
Fri December 21, 2012

A Moment Of Silence To Remember Newtown Victims

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 9:16 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It is raining in Newtown, Connecticut, where people observed a moment of silence seven days to the minute after a gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School. NPR's Kirk Siegler is in Newtown; he's on the line. And Kirk, what do you see this morning?

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Middle East
3:16 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Under Fire, Egypt's Morsi To Meet With Judges

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 7:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi has granted himself almost absolute power, but has not been able to win anything like unanimous approval. The new president faces criticism for a decree stating he can do anything he thinks will advance Egypt's revolution, and that courts cannot review his decisions. Egyptians have taken to the streets in protest. Markets have reacted badly, and the country's top judges are paying Morsi a visit today to discuss this turn of events.

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Sports
3:16 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Notre Dame Beats USC, Moves To BCS Title Game

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 7:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

College football's wild season was not so wild this past weekend. There were no major shifts at the top of the BCS rankings as there were the week before. That's mainly because Notre Dame beat the University of Southern California on Saturday and maintained its number one ranking.

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Africa
3:20 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Warrant Issued For Ivory Coast's Ex-First Lady

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 11:53 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The International Criminal Court has identified another defendant in its prosecution of violence in Ivory Coast. The former president is already awaiting trial in The Hague, accused of crimes against humanity for his effort to stay in power after losing an election. Now the court is calling his wife a co-perpetrator, and issued a warrant for the arrest of Simone Gbagbo. NPR's Africa correspondent Ofeibea Quist-Arcton covered the conflict. She's on the line. Ofeibea, welcome back to the program.

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Middle East
2:47 am
Fri November 16, 2012

Egypt Tries To Broker Cease-Fire In Gaza Strip

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 12:09 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Business
3:06 am
Thu November 15, 2012

BP Expected To Plead Guilty In Gulf Spill

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 5:12 am

Oil giant BP is preparing to plead guilty to criminal misconduct related to the 2010 Gulf spill. The deal is set to be announced in New Orleans Thursday.

First And Main
2:28 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Voters In Swing Counties Revisit Election Issues

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 10:46 am

Now that the election is over, Morning Edition is getting back in touch with some voters we met over the summer for our series First and Main. That's when we visited three political swing counties.

Steve Inskeep talks to Jim Meeks and his daughter-in-law Xiomara in Hillsborough County, Florida. Jim supported Governor Romney and Xiomara, President Obama.

David Greene spoke to voters in Winnebago County, Wisconsin. He catches up with farmer Charlie Knigge, who voted for Mitt Romney, and corrections officer Jason Menzel, who voted for Obama.

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Business
2:52 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Softbank To Buy Majority Of Sprint Nextel

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 5:59 am

Japanese mobile phone company Softbank has announced it has agreed to buy 70 percent of Sprint Nextel for $20 billion. The deal would make Sprint Nextel a tougher competitor against its bigger rivals, Verizon Wireless and AT&T.

Health
2:47 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Meningitis Outbreak Linked To Compounding Pharmacies

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 3:23 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We've been watching a deadly medical scandal unfold over the past week. A steroid commonly injected into people's spines to relieve back pain was apparently contaminated by an ordinary fungus.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

As a result so far, 137 people in 10 states have contracted a rare brain infection of fungal meningitis. Twelve people have died. The tainted drug apparently came from a pharmacy in Massachusetts that shipped nearly 18,000 doses to 23 states.

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U.S.
9:25 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Sandusky Sentenced For Penn State Assaults

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And here's another story we've been following throughout the morning: Jerry Sandusky was sentenced today to at least 30 years in prison. The former Penn State assistant football coach was convicted in June, of sexually abusing 10 boys. NPR's Jeff Brady was in the Pennsylvania courtroom today. He joins us now. Jeff, what's the sentence? More details.

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Sports
4:09 am
Thu October 4, 2012

Major League Baseball To Begin Post-Season Play

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 8:19 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Major League Baseball's regular season ended yesterday with the kind of day that would warm the commissioner's heart: fans cheering from coast to coast, a towering achievement for one very good hitter, and the promise of even more excitement to come as the playoffs begin. NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman has been tracking this season. He's on the line.

Good morning, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hello.

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Business
3:27 am
Tue October 2, 2012

JPMorgan Sued Over Mortgage-Backed Securities

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 11:08 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

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Africa
3:13 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Nigeria Reports Increase In Polio Cases

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 4:35 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A disease that once ravaged the world, killed countless children, even famously affected President Franklin Roosevelt, has now been eradicated in all but three countries: Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The disease is polio. And at the United Nations last week, Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon met leaders of those three countries, who pledged to step up efforts to wipe out polio entirely.

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NPR Story
2:50 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Regular NFL Refs Will Be Back On The Job Thursday

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 3:19 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We are pleased to announce this morning that NPR has ended its lockout of Mike Pesca. The network reached a deal with our sports correspondent after his replacement repeatedly confused adjectives with adverbs. OK, that's a joke, but in reality the NFL reached a deal with referees after the replacements made a series of brutally criticized calls. Mike Pesca has been following developments.

Mike, good morning.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: And that was a goodly decision. Oh, wait a minute. I've done it too.

(LAUGHTER)

Read more
Europe
8:36 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Greeks Take To Streets In Anti-Austerity Protests

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

People are not getting much work done in parts of Europe. Last night, there were violent protests in Spain. They were protests against austerity measures, which is also the case in Greece, where a nationwide strike came today. It closed businesses and schools, and reporter Joanna Kakissis is following the story from Athens.

Joanna, what's been happening?

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NPR Story
4:11 am
Tue September 18, 2012

Romney Forced To Explain 'Victims' Comment

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:04 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Mitt Romney says he's standing by the substance of his comments about American voters. A recording first revealed by Mother Jones magazine captured Romney at a fundraiser. He said 47 percent of Americans are hopelessly lost to President Obama, that they pay no income taxes, quote, "think they are victims, that they're entitled," and that he can't make them take responsibility or care for their lives.

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Africa
6:15 am
Wed September 12, 2012

U.S. Confirms Deaths Of U.S. Ambassador, Staff

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 7:28 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONSTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. All through the morning we've been getting more details about the attack against the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

In the city that was at the heart of the Libyan revolution, protesters killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. Here's Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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Sports
3:18 am
Wed September 12, 2012

Who's In The Hunt For Baseball Playoffs?

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 7:28 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Three weeks remain in Major League Baseball's regular season. Can't promise that September will end as dramatically as last year, but things are looking pretty interesting. An expanded post-season will make this year's playoffs a little different, and NPR's Mike Pesca is with us for some analysis. Mike, good morning.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello.

INSKEEP: OK, five teams from each league make it to the post-season this year. How does that change things?

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