Saturday, May 15, 2010

Public Radio Fanatic


I love public radio. A few months ago I was talking about NPR with a friend from church and he said, "NPR huh...we gotta do something about that." The thing is, I'm not so sure he has ever listened to NPR to have that opinion. However, among conservative talk radio audiences there is a rumor that NPR is communist or at least socialist. In honor of my friends who think I'm nuts for listening to NPR, I've decided to list my favorite shows. If you find information on how to cook a creative stir fry dish to be communist let me know. :)

FAVORITE LIVE SHOWS:
1. A Prairie Home Companion - I'm told that before video killed the radio star families used to crowd around radios every Saturday afternoon to listen to plays, story telling, and live concerts. Prairie Home Companion has been doing just that since 1974 when host Garrison Keillor created the show. Tune in to hear hillarious stories, the best live sound effects guy in the business, and hardly known musicians who should be making millions of dollars but remain in abscurity.

2. Car Talk - Car talk is HILARIOUS. Two brothers named Tom and Ray Magliozzi have been hosting the show since 1977. The premise is this, cooky listeners call and ask random car questions (from what is that clicking noise under the hood to my wife thinks I kill more bugs when I drive than her because I go so fast...what do you think). Tom and Ray humorously interact with the callers and attempt to answer their questions. I love these guys.

FAVORITE PODCASTS:
1. This American Life - This show is easly my favorite weekly broadcast ever. Each week Ira Glass and his research team has a theme like "bridges" or "chickens" and then they tell 3-4 stories on their theme. As the name indicates, they try to tell stories about everyday American life. They do an amazing job giving listeners information in a captivating manner. I've heard all sorts of stories. In one a rancher cloned his beloved bull and in another a guy lived in a 5x14x8 feet hole in a major Chicago bridge. This is where I heard the most balanced report on health care. IT'S GREAT! If you can only listen to one of these LISTEN TO THIS ONE.

2. The Splendid Table - If you like to cook or eat you gotta listen to this broadcast hosted by Lynee Rossetto Kasper. About 2/3rds of the show is her talking with correspondents throughout the world who tell stories about restaurants and meals they have encountered. For the remainder 1/3rd of the broadcast listeners call in and ask her cooking questions. She is brilliant and makes me hungry evertime I listen to her!


6 comments:

maimonides627 said...

And yet you make no mention of "All Things Considered"? For shame, my friend, for shame ..

Coby said...

Ah ha. I mainly focused on weekly broadcasts to show the variety of NPR. Also, in my opinion weekly shows tend to be more captivating. I assume that is because they have more time to find the best stories. Besides, if Im ever going to get my conservative talk radio friends to listen to NPR we'll probably start with a variety show NOT news/reporting.

mandi said...

thanks for the links. finally i can listen to this american life, you know, the one you've been yammering on about.

; )

Jeremy said...

Pinko-fascist-socialist loving communist! Knew it all along...

Alex said...

ha, I have friends that say the same stuff... and none of them have listened to it.

Kate said...

Coby, we love the same shows! I listen to Morning Edition every morning (this is a 20+ year habit). Equally addictive are PHC and Car Talk on the weekends. You've overlooked another favorite that's easy to miss: Writer's Almanac. It is a five-minute broadcast on weekdays, and I have an alarm on my phone set to remind me every weekday! Now that I have cred as a devoted NPR listener, let me say that I have problems with folks who use this as their main news/info source. Most programs on NPR are sold out to a left-leaning audience, and many of my relatives/friends who listen only to it seem not to recognize the bias. Be it topic selection, choice of "facts" in stories, or presentation of opinion in the guise of objective reporting, I cringe at a lot of what I hear, and the lack of balance in the coverage. You can not pretend that Nina Totenberg is even-handed in her rants about the Supreme Court. Daniel Schorr, God rest his soul, seemed to consider suffering for his politics a badge of honor. Don't get me started on Margot Adler, Cokie Roberts, and others. Even in the entertainment shows, there is unabashed liberal sentiment. Our friend Garrison Keillor can become grouchy, combative, and downright mean toward those whose opinions he does not share. Do I tune out?--absolutely not--but I consider myself open-minded because I tap other sources of information. I have relatives whom I consider NPR snobs who are some of the more closed-minded individuals I know. BTW talk radio is not one of the venues I listen to MUCH, but I have spent a some time on most of the major names in order to get a feel for their content. We don't have cable at our house, so besides network TV (all crime, all the time, fear- and consumer-based reporting--yuk) I rely on online sources.