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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U.S.
9:56 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Details Emerge In Shooting By Empire State Building

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 9:15 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

Today's shooting in New York City draws special attention because of the location: at the base of the Empire State Building, perhaps the most famous building in New York, one of the most famous buildings in the world. The gunman opened fire there. Several people were shot and wounded. We're getting conflicting accounts of how many, although news photographs from the scene do show a number of people down on the ground.

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Sports
4:47 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Armstrong To Be Stripped Of Cycling Records

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 9:56 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And some other news on this eventful morning. Lance Armstrong says he is no longer fighting the doping case against him. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency says as a result the cyclist will be stripped of his seven titles on the Tour de France. NPR's Mike Pesca joined us to talk about it. Good morning.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello.

INSKEEP: How did this happen? Did Armstrong effectively admit guilt here by saying he's not fighting the charges?

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Africa
3:23 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Ethiopian Prime Minister Zenawi Dies At 57

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 4:35 am

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi died in a Belgian hospital this week at the age of 57 after a long illness. He came to power in 1991 after leading a rebel army from Ethiopia's north and toppling the Marxist leader. He was viewed as a firm U.S. ally in the war on terrorism, but also was accused of human rights abuses in Ethiopia.

Asia
2:43 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Bo Xilai's Wife Gets Suspended Death Sentence

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 11:50 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's go next to China, where the wife of a fallen Communist Party leader has received a sentence - a suspended death sentence for murdering a British businessman. Her accomplice, a family employee, was sentenced to nine years in prison. Gu Kailai came under suspicion after a scandal involving her husband, who was one of the rising stars of the Communist Party before he lost his job amid suspicions about his behavior. NPR's Frank Langfitt has been following this case from Shanghai.

Hi, Frank.

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First And Main
1:20 am
Fri August 10, 2012

An Undecided Florida Voter Faces Emotional Decision

Wanda Kos is undecided this election year, but voted for Barack Obama in 2008. She is concerned for the future of her daughter Sofia, 6, and her two older children, including one son who just joined the military
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 10:25 am

As the presidential election nears, Morning Edition has begun a series of reports from an iconic American corner: First and Main. Several times in the next few months, we'll travel to a battleground state, then to a vital county in each state. In that county, we find a starting point for our visit: First and Main streets, the intersection of politics and real life.

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First And Main
1:24 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Complications, Contradictions In A Fla. Swing County

Sofia Martinez, 40, is a registered nurse in Plant City, Fla., who supports both the DREAM Act and Republican Mitt Romney, who says he would veto it.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 6:17 pm

As the presidential election nears, Morning Edition has begun a series of reports from an iconic American corner: First and Main. Several times in the next few months, we'll travel to a battleground state, then to a vital county in each state. In that county, we find a starting point for our visit: First and Main streets, the intersection of politics and real life.

Sofia Martinez was a kid when she began what you could call her life on the road.

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First And Main
1:25 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Florida Market Draws Candidates Like Bees To Honey

Parkesdale Farm Market is run by Jim Meeks, 70, and his extended family, including his daughter-in-law Xiamara Meeks, 36. Business is booming and the stand has been a mainstay on presidential campaign stops since the days of George H.W. Bush.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 5:36 pm

As the presidential election nears, Morning Edition has begun a series of reports from an iconic American corner: First and Main. Several times in the next few months, we'll travel to a battleground state, then to a vital county in each state. In that county, we find a starting point for our visit: First and Main streets, the intersection of politics and real life.

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Business
3:00 am
Tue August 7, 2012

British Bank Accused Of Hiding Iranian Transactions

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:39 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Financial regulators in New York said yesterday they may bar a British bank from doing business in the state. They said that because the bank allegedly laundered some $250 billion in Iranian money through its branch in Manhattan. The bank is Standard Chartered Bank. It does much of its business in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. But like any global bank, it wants to have a foothold in the U.S. markets, and that foothold is now in danger. For more, we turn to NPR's Jim Zarroli in New York.

Jim, Good morning.

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First And Main
1:25 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Race An Issue That Simmers In Florida Battleground

Gregory Brown, 52, lives in a trailer park community in Lutz, Fla., near the corner of First and Main streets. He lives off unemployment checks and blames President Obama for his financial difficulties.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:39 pm

As the presidential election nears, Morning Edition has begun a series of reports from First and Main. Several times in the next few months, we'll travel to a battleground state, then to a vital county in each state. In that county, we find a starting point for our visit — an iconic American corner — First and Main streets.

Near the corner of First and Main, in a trailer park in Hillsborough County, Fla., Gregory Brown sticks the key into the motorcycle he has for sale.

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Middle East
6:26 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Syrian Prime Minister Defects To Jordan

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 11:02 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We are covering other news today, including news out of Syria, where there have been some high-level defections. The prime minister of Syria fled to neighboring Jordan just two months after he was appointed. He says he has joined the opposition. Syrian rebels say that three other cabinet members also defected. These are the highest level departures from the government of Bashar al-Assad since the uprising began well over a year ago.

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Sports
3:43 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Bolt Defends, U.S. Men's Basketball Team In Action

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 11:02 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Jamaica's Usain Bolt ran the 100 meters in 9.63 seconds last night. That is an Olympic record. It will take just a bit more than 9.63 seconds to talk about what it means. And NPR's Mike Pesca, the Usain Bolt of sports reporters is on the line.

Mike, good morning.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Yes. If you saw me in person you'd know how untrue that was.

(LAUGHTER)

INSKEEP: Well, Usain Bolt said he was only 95 percent healthy when he ran this race. What does it mean to be 95 percent healthy?

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First And Main
2:07 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Even In Florida Swing County, Minds Seem Made Up

Michael Bailey, 2, was the last baby baptized in St. Paul's AME church in downtown Tampa. Rev. Jesse Jackson preached here and Rosa Parks, Thurgood Marshall and President Clinton all spoke here, but the dwindling congregation forced the church to close.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 8:04 pm

Let's take a picture of America in the latter months of an election year. We want to sense what's on this country's mind. So Morning Edition begins a series of reports from First and Main. Several times in the next few months, we'll travel to a battleground state, then to a vital county in each state. In that county we find a starting point for our visit — an iconic American corner — First and Main streets.

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NPR Story
9:48 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Eight Badminton Players Disqualified From Olympics

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 5:31 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The Olympics are a quest to be the best. But some Olympians are accused of purposely playing badly at badminton. The Badminton World Federation has launched disciplinary proceedings against four women's doubles pairs. First, the world champions, who are Chinese, faced off against opponents from South Korea. And spectators started booing when the players seemed to be making simple errors on purpose.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Around the Nation
9:56 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Aurora Shooting Is 'Evil, Sensless; Beyond Reason'

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 12:42 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Police soon arrested a suspect, and they were still searching suspect's apartment when President Obama stepped before a crowd this morning in Fort Myers, Florida. It was a political campaign event. It was supposed to be, but the president said it was not a day for campaigning.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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Around the Nation
8:29 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Federal Agencies Assist In Theater Investigation

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 12:42 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Europe
6:01 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Israel Suspects Extremists In Bulgaria Attack

Originally published on Sun July 22, 2012 7:43 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's learn more, now, about an attack in Bulgaria. Seven people were killed, we're told, among them, five Israelis, in a suspected suicide bombing. It happened at a seaside resort town called Burgos. More than 30 more people were injured by this explosion. Israel is calling it a terrorist attack and says it suspects Iran or Muslim extremists. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro joins us on the line, now, from Tel Aviv.

Hi, Lourdes.

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, BYLINE: Good morning.

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Middle East
2:30 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Clinton Visits Israel On Mideast Tour

Originally published on Sun July 22, 2012 7:42 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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Business
3:09 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Team USA Predicted To Take The Most Medals

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 9:04 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Some future news now. The Olympics begin two weeks from today in London, and we can already tell you the likely big winners. China will take the most gold medals, followed by the U.S. and host country, Great Britain. Team USA will win the most overall medals, followed by China and Russia.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Asia
3:09 am
Fri July 13, 2012

China's Economy Slows To 3-Year Low

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 9:04 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. China's economic growth has slowed down to a three-year low. That's according to new figures released today. The numbers matter to us because of the way the world economy is so interconnected. Americans import a lot from China, sure, but have also been working to boost exports to other nations, including China.

NPR's Louisa Lim joins us from Beijing to make sense of the latest news. Hi, Louisa.

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Revolutionary Road Trip
1:13 am
Thu July 5, 2012

In Libya's Shifting Sands, Kids Try To Find Their Way

Three students outside the Science College of Benghazi University. They say they expect to have opportunities in Libya that would not have been possible when Moammar Gadhafi was in power.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 8:25 pm

In a stretch of sandy wasteland, Hisham Sadowi, 12, smacks a tee shot across a makeshift golf course in Benghazi, Libya.

On this course with no grass, local rules allowed him to place the ball on a little square of artificial turf he carries around.

Hisham dreams of becoming a professional golfer, and he stops briefly to speak to us. We asked him who his favorite golfer is.

"Tiger Woods," he exclaims.

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Sports
3:31 am
Mon June 25, 2012

Worried By The Debt Crisis, Soccer Distracts Europe

Originally published on Mon June 25, 2012 11:37 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

You know, if you're weighed down by worry, you find a distraction. That at least is what Europeans are doing amid their economic trouble. They've been turning to their favorite sport - soccer. This weekend saw the last two Euro 2012 quarterfinals. This is a huge competition viewed in Europe, as second only to the World Cup. NPR's Philip Reeves of course has been following the action. He's on the line from London.

Hi, Phil.

PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: Hi.

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Middle East
4:58 am
Fri June 22, 2012

More Syrians Openly Criticizing Assad's Government

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 5:32 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Here's a little of what's happened in Syria over the past 24 hours. A Syrian air force colonel flew his jet out of the country, defecting to Jordan. Syria's army intensified its offensive against a rebel army. And the Red Cross had to abandon a mission to evacuate civilians from the city of Homs.

We're going to get some perspective on all of this from NPR's Deborah Amos, who's just left Syria after a very rare 10-day trip to Damascus. She's now in Lebanon. Hi, Deborah.

DEBORAH AMOS, BYLINE: Good morning.

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Economy
3:13 am
Fri June 22, 2012

Credit Rating Agency Moody's Downgrades 15 Banks

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 5:17 am

Fifteen major banks were downgraded Thursday in a reflection of the slowing global economy and volatility in financial markets. In a sweeping move, Moody's cut the credit ratings of some of the world's largest financial institutions, including Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.

Revolutionary Road Trip
1:14 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Muslim Faction Has Its Roots In Cairo Coffee Klatch

Mohammed Tolba (center) talks with friends at a coffee shop in the Cairo suburbs. The 33-year-old Egyptian is trying to change the public perception of Salafists, Muslims who believe in a literal interpretation of the Quran.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 7:48 am

NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep is nearing the end of his Revolutionary Road Trip, a journey across North Africa to see how the countries that staged revolutions last year are remaking themselves. Steve and his team began in Tunisia's ancient city of Carthage, drove across the deserts of Libya, and filed this report from the third and final country, Egypt.

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Revolutionary Road Trip
1:07 am
Mon June 18, 2012

And Now For The Lighter Side Of Egypt's Revolution

One of the founders of Egypt's satirical online magazine El Koshary Today, Taha Belal, 28, at the Freedom Bar in downtown Cairo. Since Egypt's revolution last year, political parody has become popular on the Internet.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 7:48 am

NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep is wrapping up his Revolutionary Road Trip, a journey of more than 2,700 miles across North Africa to see how the countries that staged revolutions last year are remaking themselves. Steve and his team have traveled from Tunisia's ancient city of Carthage, across the deserts of Libya, and filed this report from the third and final country, Egypt.

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Revolutionary Road Trip
3:04 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Divided Politics, Creaky Economy Put Egypt On Edge

The Khan el-Khalili market in downtown Cairo. Election posters for the two candidates in Egypt's presidential runoff election are hanging above the street.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 9:06 am

NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep is nearing the end of his Revolutionary Road Trip, a journey of some 2,500 miles across North Africa to see how the countries that staged revolutions last year are remaking themselves. Steve and his team have traveled from Tunisia's ancient city of Carthage across the deserts of Libya and have now reached the third and final country, Egypt.

On the road eastward from the Libyan border, the Egyptian desert became a blur. Then we started to run low on fuel.

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Revolutionary Road Trip
2:30 am
Wed June 13, 2012

In The New Libya, Lots Of Guns And Calls For Shariah

Libyans rally in favor of Shariah law, in Benghazi, eastern Libya. The city was the birthplace of the uprising that ousted Moammar Gadhafi.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 1:33 pm

Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep is taking a Revolutionary Road Trip across North Africa to see how the countries that staged revolutions last year are remaking themselves. Steve and his team are traveling some 2,000 miles from Tunisia's ancient city of Carthage, across the deserts of Libya and on to Egypt's megacity of Cairo. In the Libyan towns of Benghazi and Derna, he talks to Islamists about their desire to see a new Libya ruled by Shariah law.

The other day in Benghazi, Libya, we found our vehicle surrounded by truckloads of men with machine guns.

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Revolutionary Road Trip
3:00 am
Tue June 12, 2012

After Libya's War, Acts Of Vengeance

A destroyed apartment building in Tawargha, south of the Libyan coastal city of Misrata. Rebels from Misrata destroyed Tawargha, accusing residents of supporting Moammar Gadhafi and committing atrocities.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 10:05 am

NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep is taking a Revolutionary Road Trip across North Africa to see how the countries that staged revolutions last year are remaking themselves. Steve and his team are traveling some 2,000 miles from Tunisia's ancient city of Carthage, across the deserts of Libya and on to Egypt's megacity of Cairo. Near the Libyan coastal city of Misrata, he looks at violence that took place after the revolution.

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Revolutionary Road Trip
2:44 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Looking To The Future, Libya Erases Part Of Its Past

A map of the oil pipelines at Al-Sidrah. The man pointing to the map is Abujala Zenati, who had retired as manager of the operation. He says he returned to work after the revolution to help support the new Libya.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 9:11 am

NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep is taking a Revolutionary Road Trip across North Africa to see how the countries that staged revolutions last year are remaking themselves. Steve and his team are traveling some 2,000 miles from Tunisia's ancient city of Carthage, across the deserts of Libya and on to Egypt's megacity of Cairo. In his first story from Libya, he looks at what has changed in a country that was dominated for decades by one man.

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Monkey See
2:36 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Picturing Tunisia: A Favorite Hollywood Location Through A Different Lens

A scene from the Kairouan medina - where some of the street scenes from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark were filmed.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 4:48 am

Here's a movie scene burned into my brain: Harrison Ford, playing Indiana Jones, is on a chase through the streets of Cairo. It's in the original movie Raiders of the Lost Ark, which I saw as a kid. Today I couldn't tell you who was chasing whom or why, but I remember the climax. Jones is pushing through a mass of people when the crowd abruptly parts. He's confronted by a swordsman, who flips his giant scimitar around both artfully and menacingly.

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