A fascinating story was narrated on National Public Radio last week. I know it was fascinating because it was on NPR, and I’ve heard tell that they talk about many subversive things on NPR. Unfortunately, I have no idea whom or what the story was about, because the teller of the fascinating and subversive tale had a soft, wooly voice that could not be heard over the low rumble of my red Lada hatchback. Where do they get these guys? I would adore smart-guy radio if smart guys didn’t for some reason all sound exactly like second gear.
I know what you’re thinking, good friends of listener-supported radio: The fault lies not in the clever, mature and subtly expressive voices on the air, but in my automobile. To which I will say: I made those speakers out of the finest tomato cans and copper wire. Plus, I asked my friend “Zack,” a local club impresario who drives a Porsche Cayenne and generally does not listen to listener-supported radio, to tune in one day, and at the end of that day I asked him what he thought. “Didn’t hear a thing,” he said. Then he asked me if I’d caught the drive-time debate on KXNT, which I had, because Hannity’s got a voice that can cut through the rusty groan of the wrought iron gates of hell. Supporters of NPR think they’ve been singled out for their politics. The truth is, in this age of cutting waste, politicians are simply making a stand for radio they can hear.