My addiction to NPR first started in March 2009. Well, that’s when I got my first real taste anyway. As a kid I remember listening to Garrison Keillor in the car with my mom. I also remember being infuriated with him. It was probably just The Writer’s Almanac, but for some now unknown reason I couldn’t stand him.
I held on to this amorpheus, groundless dislike for public radio (though mostly for Garrison Keillor) for a long time. This angst was also fueled by the infuriatingly calm voices of the local classical radio station announcers. To me, they sounded just like Garrison Keillor. At some point I started listening to AM talk radio, specifically WGN Radio 720 out of Chicago. (Bob Collins, Spike O’Dell, John Williams, and Steve and Johnnie Putnam were all a big influence on me during my teenage years.) Since moving from my childhood home (and the WGN listening area), I have discovered that not all talk radio is created equal.
When I moved to Cincinnati, I was excited to find another major market AM talk radio station. However, with the exception of morning drive time (which still wasn’t up to par, but was at least listen-able), I was sorely disappointed with the narrow-minded, often one-sided programming I was hearing. Where was the thoughtful reporting, witty commentary, and open-minded discussion I was looking for?
It was across the dial on NPR.
But getting back to March 2009… I was visiting my good friends Katie and Rodney, when Rodney told me about Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me and Car Talk. We listened to an episode of each show via podcast, and I remember laughing my head off, being impressed with the quick thinking and obvious smarts of the hosts, and feeling better informed.
When I got back home I began religiously listening to the Wait, Wait podcast. Eventually I looked up our local NPR station. Today, my car radio is tuned to the local NPR station 99% of the time as is my alarm clock. My iTunes is filled with NPR and APM podcasts. NPR.org is my go to news web site, as well as a source for interesting books, music, and culture.
Hello, my name is Sarah, and I’m addicted to NPR.