On The Radar

NPR You Serious?

By Steven Wells
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 14 | Posted May. 28, 2008

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illustration by: HAWK KRALL

Hey, I'm bourgie, I'm (self-)educated, I'm the wrong side of 15 and I prefer my talk radio to not consist entirely of neo-fascist propaganda. So of course I listen to NPR. But God knows sometimes it's hard.

The beardie-weirdie presenter of You Bet Your Garden makes me want to nail him to a shed and garden-flamethrow his gurgling hippie ass until he stops chuckling so much. And the whites-only ginger-bearded higgledy-piggledy music of the Thistle & Shamrock never fails to send me screaming into the arms of the nearest Rush Limbaugh wannabe.

Then there's Terry Gross, possibly the worst interviewer in the history of radio. I thought her vomit-inducing ass-sniffing of smug mug Belle and Sebastian singer Stuart Murdoch in 2006 would forever remain my personal worst-ever NPR moment.

I was wrong.

A month ago she circle-jerked with Dr. Dan Gottlieb--the Yoda-meets-Mister Rogers presenter of WHYY-FM's touchy-feely-let's-all-hug Voices in the Family. Could the interview possibly have been more "uplifting" or nauseating? Yes, but only if they'd made it a three-way with You Bet Your Garden guy Mike McGrath while Aryan folk music from highlands and islands higgled and piggled in the background.

WHYY pays Gross a shed load, but the truth is she isn't fit to pick the sweetcorn out of Marty Moss-Coane's poo. Which is why I don't give WHYY a penny no matter how much they beg--and boy do they beg. Last month's membership drive was made even less palatable by the disappearance of the free-with-your-donation Nina Totin' Bag tote bag, a pun-ny spin on the name of NPR legal correspondent Nina Totenberg.

This hilarious joke was particularly relished in our house, where we make much punning fun of NPR presenters' names already. Thus BBC Newshour presenter Robin Lustig becomes Robin Lusting. Every mention of his name provokes me, my wife and our 6-year-old daughter Tracy Trotsky Spinoza-Jones to gleefully exclaim, "Phwoooar!" and "Look at the cock on that!"

Morning Edition's Brenda Jorett becomes Brenda Tourette's and is greeted with a hearty chorus of "Fuck! Shit! Wank!" every time she opens her filthy mouth.

I know what you're thinking--no matter how horribly overpaid Terry Gross is, it's morally wrong not to make a financial contribution to a broadcasting institution that gives the Wells household so many hours of innocent fun.

And you're right. Believe me, I would sign up--but only if they offered the world's best ever tote bag as an inducement.

That bag is of course the "SHOPPING IS FOR CUNTS" tote bag sold on the merchandising table of touring English Oi! band Hard Skin. WHYY could rename it the Brenda Fucking Tourette's bag. They'd sell memberships by the millions.

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COMMENTS

Comments 1 - 14 of 14
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1. SW_sucks said... on May 27, 2008 at 06:07PM

“Do you even bother to check your facts or use brain cells when you write this? How long does it take, 45 seconds? Didn't sell enough "escort" ads this month for an actual editor?”

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2. Steven Wells said... on May 27, 2008 at 08:44PM

“What's up? Scared to use your real name? Bwuk bwuk bwuk.”

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3. Steven Wells said... on May 27, 2008 at 09:44PM

“What's up? Scared to use your real name? Bwuk bwuk bwuk.”

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4. Bill said... on May 28, 2008 at 06:10AM

“GET A LIFE, ASSHOLE.”

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5. Steven Wells said... on May 28, 2008 at 02:06PM

“Now that's just rude.”

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6. Steven Wells said... on May 28, 2008 at 03:06PM

“Now that's just rude. ”

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7. Gomer said... on May 29, 2008 at 04:31AM

“Golly Sargent Carter, you must be a fly beta capa with your hugh intellect.”

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8. G-Unit said... on May 29, 2008 at 06:01AM

“This is so spot on you can't handle it. When Terri Gross is shilling for HBO, its Hollywood. Still, she does a great, great interview once in a while. Why such a wealthy, educated demographic needs public tax support is beyond me. Brenda Jorett is a KYW veteran for Christ's sake. Guess that's why I hear so much about sports. Nix that and the traffic report and we'll start getting somewhere. Mike McGrath's attitude tells me somehow that going full-tilt "green" will somehow make one nuts, and that a need for the occasional basket of cheese fries is very justified.”

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9. Bill said... on May 29, 2008 at 12:42PM

“What would you call your rant? Polite? Perhaps we should all listen to the "journalism" of Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingram. And while you're at it, put your own credentials in the same toilet.”

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10. Paul Holmes said... on Jun 2, 2008 at 06:35PM

“Ah, Mr WElls - good to see r still winding up the bourgeois libs in much the same way as you didn on t'NME was back when. Now, whatever did happen to Attack books?”

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11. John Jonik said... on Jun 6, 2008 at 03:05PM

“The big problem with the Gross Terry...er...Terry Gross show, is that it's an hour a day, two hours for the less fortunate, promotional love-fest for all sorts of corporate entertainment and publishing industries. Those entities can well afford to do their own promos on commercial media but, with public tax money, and imponderably gullible "pledge" donors paying their way, and with Ms. Gross accomodating this (and not allowing callers who might have different opinions), there's no reason to spend a cent. This almost exclusively corporate serving program steals two hours a day, plus whatever the costs, from the public. That time and money could and should provide truly public interest content such as info about rip-off or dangerous consumer products, about alernatives to that, or about corporate or government crime. Other NPR presences, like Garison Kiellor, Click and Clack, This American Life, etc., are widely liked But they are bait...willing bait...the tasty worms...that hooks people into feeling fond and trusting of NPR to thereby sell propagandistic "news" and opinion that's as bad as or worse than anything in the New York Times or on Fox. It's worse because NPR pretends to be a non-commercial alternative. It's National Privatized Radio, and they ought be indicted for fraudulently soliciting money through the mail and on public airwaves on their claim of being public.”

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12. pooch said... on Dec 28, 2008 at 02:49PM

“Right on about terry gross. There are no words to describe how bad she is.”

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13. dom said... on Feb 12, 2009 at 02:14PM

“I know I'm late to this article, but it is truly spot on as are the comments of reader Mr. Jonik. It seems that reader Bill's panties have been bunched in a wad over Terry Gross being called what she is: a simpering, miserable interviewer. If you think she is good, you are an idiot, have extremely low standards, or know nothing of the art of the debate or interview. Really.”

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14. Ryn said... on Feb 10, 2010 at 07:22PM

“I happened to like Brenda, but not a huge Gross fan.”

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