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April 12, 2009



The Bryant Park Project is what killed NPR for me. I was a public radio fangirl for a long time, appreciating the overarching documentary vibe from most of the shows. It's all a little... dated, perhaps, appealing to the Boomer generation. NPR is by Boomers, for boomers, and built by boomers, and we all know that boomer institutions can only be pried out of their cold, dead hands and not hold our collective breaths waiting for things to change before then.

In NPR circles, I heard tell of them trying to appeal to a younger demographic, trying to bring in a new generation of listeners. They were discussing it during a fund drive, in fact. They could update their sound, update the content... something. Then, a few months later, I heard of this new show, The Bryant Park Project. It's Young! It's hip! It's Fresh! It's...

the same goddamn magazine show as nearly half the other NPR shows with slightly younger and bubblier hosts. Hello cynicism, goodbye NPR.

I stick with podcasts almost exclusively now, so I can control what crap I listen to.


I find it impossible to believe no one has yet mentioned the most unbearable program of all, "A Prairie Home Companion".

Denise Fisher

I find it hilarious that everyone who slams the NPR programming can name so many programs precisely, identify each of those programs’ hosts (or at least describe their characteristics clearly enough that they could be picked out of a line-up), and that they are so well versed in the content of these shows that they can provide a re-cap of their most hated story or segment. Personally, I love almost everything about NPR (though I do agree that the "matching funding" concept does seem to be a misnomer from a brainstorming session turned monsoon). But I do appreciate hearing the conflicting views when they come from such witty and articulate listeners.

Howard Covitz

One thing is clear. You WFMU listener's must be spoiled with the variety your car radio offers... easy for you to opine from New York on NPR's flaws. Most of us have little else. Essentially, you are all coming across as pretty spoiled as to what you can tune into while in transit.


Ummmm.....Mike in Washington (post No. 6)? When is the last time you actually LISTENED to those stations you slag in your city? WAMU doesn't play bluegrass any more, WETA is now all-classical, and the show is called "American Routes." The host's name is Nick Spitzer, btw. Sadly, Diane Rehm remains the same....


I'm not from the geographic area (at least not now - was once) but I saw this on Twitter. Hilarious. I am turning NPR off more and more. In the last 2 weeks alone, I've written to NPR in a hissy fit because they aired tape of a woman being flogged by the Taliban on Morning Edition, which was utterly unforgiveable and tabloid-esque. I also want to add my plug for putting Cokie Roberts out to pasture. That woman has nothing but platitudes to offer every Monday morning - she's the one, if memory serves, who made some condescending comment about how young people don't vote and thus couldn't possibly have an impact on the forthcoming Presidential election. Really, Cokester? What did it taste like to eat your words? I also declare a moratorium on having to be an eyewitness to Daniel Schorr learning how to use Twitter. And anything Susan Stamberg gushes over. And I totally agree with the Will Shortz observations - smugness oozes from those pores to a degree for which there should be some sort of penalty.

Susie D.

Best thing about NPR is when that annoying music guy (Jim Nader?) is on Scott Simon's show. Once made me spit coffee all over the keyboard. He's only on once in awhile though.

Bob Henshaw

The Writers Almanac (aka The Almanac)

Morning edition should be a 'family-friendly' news program. So why do I have to hear Garrison Keillor talk about some poet's homosexuality or bisexuality, the particulars of their sexual habits, various sexually descriptive and suggestive poetry at 6:30am?! Hey I'm no prude, but I don't want my 8 year being taught sex terms over the breakfast table by that creepshow, nor do I want to hear it either.

Listening to Garrison Keillor's wet lips lick themselves erotically over the birthday of another male writer makes me want to take a blowtorch to my own face just to make the sound stop molesting my ears. Oh yea, my kid doesn't need to hear that either, else he starts doing imitations of Keillor at his school.

I hate hearing Garrison Keillor's old man pedophile breath waft through my radio like some sexual predator's burning hair fetish. I silently wish someone would weigh him down with something more than his bloated sense of self-importance, beat him about the head and neck with a blunt object and throw him into the middle of Lake Wobegon. Some direct 'Jason' to Lake Wobegon instead of Crystal Lake.


eh. when you live in a place with mostly no radio that's not wank, jesus, or racist wanky jesus, NPR's pretty amazing.

not to say a bunch of the above isn't annoying from time to time but honestly, it's one of the few american news outlets that isn't total crap.


I love NPR, but I often can't listen for more than a few minutes at a time because the announcers have such annoying voices. Nearly all have this awful, unnatural, affected delivery that doesn't sound like any real person I know. They intone their words in odd places and constantly add dramatic pauses on even the most mundane of reads. The sycophantic tone they take for most topics puts me over the edge. Don't they know that all you have to do to sound good on radio is just talk naturally?

Case in point: Bob Boilen. His music program All Songs Considered exposes some of the best music out there today, but this guy's delivery is so grating that I'm forced to fast-forward (I use podcasts mostly to hear NPR) to the music and miss out on the insightful introductions.

NPR has the content, but the delivery is hands down the most annoying I've ever heard. You shouldn't be able to hear the saliva gurgling around someone's tongue when they talk.


Diane Rehm needs to be put out to pasture. I do not understand why anyone would want to be interviewed by her. I certainly would not want to be in the same room with that voice. I think they should expand the BBC News segments and throw out the rest. The British voices are a bit easier on the ears.


It's called providing a service." The current batch seem to have been told to play along. The limited screen time given thus far to Hollie Cavanagh's family. Father, mother, brother, it doesn't matter.


My alarm is set to NPR. When I sleep late on weekends, keep hitting "snooze," and Jonathan Schwartz's voice wakes me, I jump up to turn off the oily, moist, lip smacking noise. It honestly makes my skin crawl.

stingy d

u mad


You omitted perhaps the most loathsome figure on NPR-Kai Risdal. This guy embodies a syndrome too common among NPR's male announcers: "Anything I say is adorable. Right?" The network's lousy with them, from S. Innskeep to Chad A to Jonathan Schwartz. The quality of forced glee in these men's voices pairs with an ill-concealed arrogance that, on a good day, compels me to turn my radio the *#%$ off. On a positive note, On The Media? Wait, Wait...? Diane Rehm? Leonard Lopate? Car Talk? The Fishko Files? Now there's radio with integrity.


Number Nine rings true for me. I don't listen to Noise Pollution Radio, but my spouse does, and I begin many mornings with some ungodly rap music punctuating a story about a Chilean construction worker whose jackhammer sets off car alarms.

Ok yeah

How about eyeball-bleed-causing white text on a black background?

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