The Mr. Nice Guy Show Blog

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My thoughts on what's goin' on in the world,

just like years ago on the radio.

Saturday, October 05, 2002

NPR You Kidding?

I'm a big fan of NPR, National Public Radio.
But, just as 30ish years ago in its infancy, it's sometimes very difficult to be.

Back then, it was unquestionably snob radio.
They've loosened-up a lot. Now, you actually hear some correspondents and hosts who don't sound like they just left a chamber music concert. Many write and speak just like us regular folks.

They do the most thorough broadcast news coverage around. Lots of background and context, not just yelling and inflammatory nonsense like on AM radio. I listen a lot.

The funny part, though, is how they still cling to the good-old-snob days, presumably to keep contributions coming in from that element.

Listen to Scott Simon, host of "Weekend Edition Saturday." He pronounces the word literature


just like the British do.

Simon isn't British, he's a Jewish guy from Chicago. Somehow, he feels he must play to the snob element and he sounds absolutely ridiculous. Many others there do the same kind of thing.

And listen to placement of stories on programs like "All Things Considered." They will usually put some type of opera or snooty story in near 45 minutes past the hour. This could either be as a sign to snooty types that quarter-of is "your time," and not for the riff-raff. lower class types like me. 'Could also be a hint that regular folks can safely take off the headphones, walk away from the radio and get a beer or go take a wizzz.

Can NPR really be all things to all people?
Do they need to loosen-up?