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NPR Junkie

October 21, 2010

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. 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.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. October 21, 2010 9:05 am

    hahaha. my roomies would love this. elizabeth, in particular, is ADDICTED to NPR the way she’s addicted to Mad Men (she is a rather compulsive person, it would appear).

    me? i’ve never been a big radio person. but hearing NPR in the kitchen every evening as we cook dinner is slowly converting me.

  2. October 21, 2010 9:06 am

    I love NPR as well, but lately I haven’t been listening to it because there is NOTHING on the news. It’s been a slow news month. I’m tired of hearing about petty election crap.

    • October 21, 2010 11:42 am

      I hear you. Last week’s Wait, Wait was even a rerun because there wasn’t enough news to talk about for an hour.

  3. Marsha Markas permalink
    October 21, 2010 9:29 am

    The only time we heard Mr. Keilor was at 4 pm when the classical music ended for the afternoon. I am not a fan [I repeat, NOT a fan of his!]…haha.

    We read one of his books for club and no one much liked it.

    Car Talk is hilarious!!!

    • October 21, 2010 11:44 am

      Ahh, the memories of youth made clear! I always thought you liked Lake Wobegone…

  4. October 21, 2010 10:10 am

    I love Car Talk! Those guys make me laugh and help me realize my car is OK! The sign off credits are the best!

    I enjoy (most of) Prairie Home Companion, even though Keilor is in most of it. Saw them in person at Civic Center. Old time radio and funny!

    And I do love the way they do news – like All Things Considered. I’ve noticed others are moving toward their format.

    Enjoy! There’s a few of us in the same boat with you.

  5. October 21, 2010 4:49 pm

    Can I admit, I’ve never listened to NPR, but I have friends that are junkies also, my dial never leaves XM!

  6. October 22, 2010 2:53 pm

    Amen sister!

    When I moved to the USA from Canada, I went through some serious CBC radio withdrawals, until I discovered NPR. It’s my buffer from and to work and my weekend audio friend. Hooray for NPR!!

    I do still miss CBC radio though :(

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