David Greene

David Greene is host of NPR's Morning Edition, with Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne.

For two years prior to taking on his current role in 2012, Greene was an NPR foreign correspondent based in Moscow covering the region from Ukraine and the Baltics, east to Siberia. During that time he brought listeners stories as wide ranging as Chernobyl 25 years later and Beatles-singing Russian Babushkas. He spent a month in Libya reporting riveting stories in the most difficult of circumstances as NATO bombs fell on Tripoli. He was honored with the 2011 Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize from WBUR and Boston University for that coverage of the Arab Spring.

Greene's voice became familiar to NPR listeners from his four years covering the White House. To report on former President George W. Bush's second term, Greene spent hours in NPR's spacious booth in the basement of the West Wing (it's about the size of your average broom closet). He also spent time trekking across five continents, reporting on White House visits to places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Rwanda, Uruguay – and, of course, Crawford, Texas.

During the days following Hurricane Katrina, Greene was aboard Air Force One when President Bush flew low over the Gulf Coast and caught his first glimpse of the storm's destruction. On the ground in New Orleans, Greene brought listeners a moving interview with the late Ethel Williams, a then-74-year-old flood victim who got an unexpected visit from the president.

Greene was an integral part of NPR's coverage of the historic 2008 election, covering Hillary Clinton's campaign from start to finish, and also focusing on how racial attitudes were playing into voters' decisions. The White House Correspondents Association took special note of Greene's report on a speech by then-candidate Barack Obama, addressing the nation's racial divide. Greene was given the association's 2008 Merriman Smith award for deadline coverage of the presidency.

After President Obama took office, Greene kept one eye trained on the White House and the other eye on the road. He spent three months driving across America – with a recorder, camera and lots of caffeine – to learn how the recession was touching Americans during President Obama's first 100 days in office. The series was called "100 Days: On the Road in Troubled Times."

Before joining NPR in 2005, Greene spent nearly seven years as a newspaper reporter for the Baltimore Sun. He covered the White House during the Bush administration's first term, and wrote about an array of other topics for the paper: Why Oklahomans love the sport of cockfighting, why two Amish men in Pennsylvania were caught trafficking methamphetamine and how one woman brought Christmas back to a small town in Maryland.

Before graduating magna cum laude from Harvard in 1998 with a degree in government, Greene worked as the senior editor on the Harvard Crimson. In 2004, he was named co-volunteer of the year for Coaching for College, a Washington, D.C., program offering tutoring to inner-city youth.

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This week we're introducing a new team at NPR that will cover race, ethnicity and culture. We're here with Gene Demby, who's the team's lead blogger. Gene, thanks for coming in.

GENE DEMBY, BYLINE: Hey, David. Good to talk to you again.

GREENE: It's good to talk to you too. OK. So tell me about your blog, the name of it.

DEMBY: OK. Our blog and our team is called Code Switch.

GREENE: Code Switch. OK. You've got to explain this to us.

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Well, the first round of golf's first major tournament of the year tees off today. And if people are not excited enough about the Masters, there is added drama this year. The most recognizable golfer on the planet, Tiger Woods, is a bonafide favorite to win his fifth green jacket. NPR's Tom Goldman has been wandering, strolling the grounds of golf's most storied course. He joins us now from Augusta, Georgia. And, Tom, how did you get this assignment?

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hard duty, David.

GREENE: Really.

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This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Steve Inskeep is reporting from Venezuela this week as that nation holds a presidential election. I'm David Greene in Washington. Over the weekend, Egypt suffered the worse religious violence it has seen since President Mohamed Morsi came to power last year. At least six people were killed, including five Coptic Christians. More than 80 others were wounded.

The Labor Department on Friday reported the nation's unemployment rate inched down to 7.6 percent in March, the lowest rate in four years, mainly due to more people stopping their search for work. In February, the job rate was 7.7 percent.

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We have been hearing a lot about North Korea and nuclear weapons lately. Well, nuclear negotiators have just wrapped up a first day of talks on Iran's nuclear program. Tehran does not have nuclear weapons and insists it doesn't want them, but six world powers say the country must do more to assure the world that its program is entirely peaceful. We spoke earlier with NPR's Peter Kenyon, who is in Almaty, Kazakhstan for the talks. Peter, good morning.

PETER KENYON, BYLINE: Good morning, David.

Top overall seed Louisville will face Wichita State at the Georgia Dome next Saturday, while Michigan takes on Syracuse in the other national semifinal. The winners advance to the April 8 championship.

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Secretary of State John Kerry is putting his diplomatic skills to the test this week. He is dealing with some difficult partners and trying to revive Israeli/Palestinian peace talks. Kerry spent the day yesterday in Baghdad and today he made an announced trip to Afghanistan to try to smooth over the latest disputes with President Hamid Karzai. NPR's Michele Kelemen is traveling with the secretary and joins us now from Kabul. Hey, Michele.

MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: Good morning, David.

The weekend's NCAA men's college basketball tournament saw some close games. Top seeds Gonzaga and Georgetown lost. Florida Gulf Coast University became the first 15th seed to win two games in tournament history.

Puerto Rico's population is declining. Faced with a deteriorating economy, increased poverty and a swelling crime rate, many Puerto Ricans are fleeing the island for the U.S. mainland. In a four-part series, Morning Edition explores this phenomenon, and how Puerto Rico's troubles are affecting its people and other Americans in unexpected ways.

Puerto Rico's population is declining. Faced with a deteriorating economy, increased poverty and a swelling crime rate, many citizens are fleeing the island for the U.S. mainland. In a four-part series, Morning Edition explores this phenomenon, and how Puerto Rico's troubles are affecting its people and other Americans in unexpected ways.

Edward Bonet's mom no longer tries to convince him to join her in Florida. Unlike his family, the 23-year-old from Puerto Rico refuses to leave the island and its shattered economy.

U.S. employers continued to add jobs at a modest but steady pace last month. Despite worries about the fiscal cliff, the unemployment rate stood at 7.8 percent. There were no big surprises in Friday's report from the Labor Department.

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Let's turn now to a developing story in Alaska. A crew is trying to get aboard a massive oil drilling rig that ran aground in the Gulf of Alaska. Workers have already been evacuated and there is no risk of an oil spill here, but the rig is carrying thousands of gallons of diesel fuel. The rig is a key component of Shell Oil's controversial efforts to explore for oil in the Arctic Ocean, and joining us now with the latest on the situation in Alaska is NPR science correspondent Richard Harris.

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Rounding out the holiday season, Kwanza comes to an end today. It's the only official African-American holiday, and it began at the height of the 1960s black nationalist movement, just one year after Malcolm X was assassinated and the Watts riots ripped through Los Angeles. But the generation that helped create Kwanzaa is growing older, and the holiday doesn't seem to hold the same significance for many younger African-Americans.

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And let's turn to some other developments we're following very closely. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in a New York City hospital this morning. She is being treated for a blood clot. Now, a State Department spokesman said this stems from a concussion Clinton sustained earlier this month. The blood clot was discovered during a follow-up exam yesterday.

We're joined in the studio by two of our colleagues, NPR foreign affairs correspondent Jackie Northam and NPR science editor Rob Stein. Good morning to both of you.

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Time now to talk sports. This year we had a lot to celebrate in the sports world. Think summer Olympics in London. Also a lot to deplore. There were steroids in the world of bicycling and another NHL lockout. So much to cover, we reached out to NPR's sports gurus Tom Goldman and Mike Pesca. They've covered many of the top stories this year and they join me to talk about some of their favorite moments.

Hey, guys.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hi, David.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hi, David.

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OK, remember the game "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon"? Google, which can bring you the weather forecast for any spot on the planet, launched another very useful service this year. The search engine's "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" game will connect any movie star, living or dead, to the veteran Hollywood actor Kevin Bacon.

The game has become so popular, we went in search of its origins this past September. We had so much fun that once again we bring what we found on our expedition.

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This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

In upstate New York yesterday, a gunman ambushed firefighters as they were responding to a house fire in the suburban town of Webster. Sixty-two-year-old William Spengler killed two firefighters and injured two others before he took his own life. Police believe that Spengler set the fire to lure the firefighters to the scene. NPR's Joel Rose has been covering the story and he joins us now.

Joel, good morning.

JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: Good morning.

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It has become one big Christmas tradition, plopping down with a big glass of eggnog or something else of your choice in front of a big screen TV to indulge in a big dose of NBA basketball. The New York Knicks actually kicked off this tradition in 1948, beating the Providence Steamrollers at Madison Square Garden. Today's matchups don't involve the Steamrollers. There are five games in all and they promise to be just as exhilarating. And here with a preview is the always exhilarating Mike Pesca.

Hey, Mike.

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This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

It is Christmas Eve, a time for good will towards all, for peace on Earth, for setting aside differences. Well, maybe that's not true for everyone this year. On Friday, Congress went home without settling their differences over how to avoid the spending decreases and tax increases known as the fiscal cliff.

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

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And I'm David Greene. This afternoon, President Obama is set to nominate Massachusetts Senator John Kerry as the nation's next secretary of state. Kerry would replace Hillary Clinton, who's planning to leave that post after four years as the president's globe-trotting emissary. Joining us to talk about the move is NPR White House correspondent Scott Horsley; and NPR's diplomatic correspondent Michele Kelemen, who's here in the studio with me.

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Action last night in the U.S. House of Representatives suggests just how hard it could be to pass a solution to the tax increases and spending cuts due at the end of the year.

INSKEEP: House Speaker John Boehner has yet to reach a deal with President Obama so he sought to put his own plan before the House last night.

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. Action last night in the House of Representatives suggests just how hard it could be to pass a solution to the tax increases and spending cuts due at the end of the year.

INSKEEP: House Speaker John Boehner has yet to reach a deal with President Obama, so he sought to put his own plan before the House last night.

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That is something nearly everyone agrees on. If the fiscal cliff is not avoided, it could do some serious harm to the U.S. economy. So let's talk further about whether Congress and the White House are close to some kind of agreement. We'll bring in NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson. Mara, good morning.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Good morning.

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

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College football's title game is set. All football fans have to do now is endure the interminable wait until Jan. 7 when No. 1 ranked Notre Dame plays No. 2 Alabama for the BCS Championship. The final BCS rankings were released Sunday night.

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A sensational political scandal in China involves murder, abuse of power, and an attempted defection. And the case of senior politician Bo Xilai took another twist today. After months of speculation, it has just been announced that he has been expelled from the Communist Party and will face criminal charges. NPR's Louisa Lim is on the line with us from Beijing, and Louisa, what kind of charges is Bo Xilai going to face?

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Good news this morning from the NFL. There were no bad calls by replacement officials last night. OK, there were no games last night. The much-maligned replacement refs don't take the field again until tomorrow night in Baltimore. They'll be officiating the Ravens/Cleveland Browns' game and you can probably expect a lot more scrutiny. The real refs and NFL owners did meet yesterday, but a settlement remains elusive.

NPR's sports correspondent Tom Goldman has been following developments. Tom, good morning.

Politics In The News

Sep 24, 2012

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

It's the final week before the debates begin and the presidential candidates are stepping up their campaigning as they try to shake loose what polls are still showing to be a very tight race. We'll hear about one of those polls of rural voters in just a minute. But first, both President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney appeared last night on the CBS program "60 Minutes."

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