It’s that time of year again, when one of my favorite things in the world—National Public Radio—becomes the most irritating. For what seems like all of autumn, one of the smartest, classiest, most progressive media institutions of our time resorts to the fundraising method that’s a blend of used-car salesmanship, church collection plate and Hee Haw.
Whether I decide to give or not (sometimes all that guilt-tripping backfires), I spend my commute during pledge drives desperately trying to catch a bit of the news amid the begging, pleading and god-awful gabbling. Alas, the odds are not in my favor, and the only saving grace is that it’s also football season and therefore AM radio has relevance.
This is not a new problem. My new beef is that it seems to be getting worse, with more and more celebrities and local VIPs piling on with the begging, pleading and god-awful gabbling. And those commercial messages about donors that aren’t allowed to be called commercials are getting more like commercials.
Anyway, I’d have thought by now this style of fundraising would have been replaced with something more advanced and less destructive of the product that all this fundraising is predicated upon. It’s like the world’s well into the smartphone age (I know because I listen to NPR!) and they’re still using rotary phones—and I don’t mean the app version.
Tell me you’ll find a better way, NPR. Meantime, you’re the one who should feel guilty.