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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NPR Story
5:39 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Baseball Writers Vote For No Hall Of Fame Candidates

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 3:04 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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Economy
6:29 am
Wed January 2, 2013

What Was Left Out Of 'Fiscal Cliff' Compromise?

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 11:16 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Let's talk about everything that was left out of the fiscal cliff compromise approved by Congress yesterday. The measure does raise taxes for the wealthy and preserve tax cuts for others, and extend unemployment insurance again, among other things. But it left a huge amount of fighting for the New Year.

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Business
4:59 am
Tue January 1, 2013

What Does Senate Budget Deal Mean For You?

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 9:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Happy New Year.

Let's start with the upside. Congress has yet to rattle the financial markets so far in 2013.

GREENE: Of course, the markets are closed on this New Year's Day, as the House considers a deal on taxes and spending. The Senate has already approved that plan by a huge majority.

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U.S.
9:41 am
Fri December 21, 2012

A Moment Of Silence To Remember Newtown Victims

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 11:16 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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Sports
5:16 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Notre Dame Beats USC, Moves To BCS Title Game

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 9:44 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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Middle East
5:16 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Under Fire, Egypt's Morsi To Meet With Judges

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 9:44 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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First And Main
4:28 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Voters In Swing Counties Revisit Election Issues

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 12:46 pm

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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U.S.
11:25 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
6:26 am
Thu October 4, 2012

Major League Baseball To Begin Post-Season Play

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 10:19 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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Africa
5:13 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Nigeria Reports Increase In Polio Cases

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 6:35 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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Sports
4:50 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Regular NFL Refs Will Be Back On The Job Thursday

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 5:19 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)

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Europe
10:36 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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Election 2012
5:25 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Obama, Romney To Address Clinton Global Initiative

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 12:00 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep, good morning.

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NPR Story
6:11 am
Tue September 18, 2012

Romney Forced To Explain 'Victims' Comment

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:04 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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Analysis
5:01 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Politics In The News

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 9:52 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.

Throughout today's program we are following continuing protest in majority Muslim countries. The violence mostly against American facilities is blamed on a video with a mocking portrayal of the Prophet Mohammad. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says he believes the violence is calming down, but he expects the protests will continue for some time.

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Africa
8:15 am
Wed September 12, 2012

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

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 9:28 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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NPR Story
5:18 am
Wed September 12, 2012

American Killed In Protests In Libya

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 9:28 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep, with Renee Montagne. Let's get the latest, now, from North Africa, in the wake of attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in both Libya and Egypt. In Cairo, as we saw yesterday, protesters went over a wall and took down an American flag. The far more serious attack was against a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, where we now know four Americans were killed, including the United States ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens.

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Around the Nation
5:18 am
Mon August 27, 2012

Gulf Coast States Brace For Isaac's Fury

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Florida has so far been spared the worst of Tropical Storm Isaac. Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana cannot be so sure. If the storm stays on its current course, it threatens to hit Louisiana seven years to the day after Hurricane Katrina arrived in New Orleans. NPR's Greg Allen is tracking the storm. He's on the line from Florida this morning.

Greg, good morning.

GREG ALLEN, BYLINE: Morning, Steve.

INSKEEP: How much damage was there from Isaac in Florida?

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U.S.
11:52 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Details Emerge In Shooting By Empire State Building

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 11:15 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
6:47 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Armstrong To Be Stripped Of Cycling Records

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 11:56 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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Asia
7:15 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Bo Xilai's Wife Gets Suspended Death Sentence

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 1:50 pm

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
3:20 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 12:25 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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First And Main
3:24 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 8:17 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
3:25 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 7:36 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.

Read more
Business
6:11 am
Tue August 7, 2012

British Bank Accused Of Hiding Iranian Transactions

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 2:39 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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Around the Nation
5:00 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Authorities Delve In To Sikh Temple Shooter's Past

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 2:39 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now let's learn more about Wade Michael Page. He's the man police say opened fire at the temple and then opened fire on the police officer who finally killed him.

NPR counterterrorism correspondent Dina Temple-Raston has been talking with law enforcement officials. And Dina, over the last 24 hours you've given us different details about Mr. Page. Put it together here. Who was this man?

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First And Main
3:25 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 2:39 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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First And Main
4:07 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 10:04 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
11:48 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Eight Badminton Players Disqualified From Olympics

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 7:31 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
11:39 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Aurora Shooting Is 'Evil, Sensless; Beyond Reason'

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 2:42 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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