Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Bob Edwards: That "NPR reporter" sounds like a typical behind-the-scenes media rat. "Can you believe," they are wont to intone, "that he just reads this stuff? And everybody loves him!" In other words, if only they had smart, wonderful me on the air. I'd ask probing follow-ups, add commentary when needed. Thing is, everyone thinks they're qualified to be on-air talent. (I thought so.) But mostly they're not. (I wasn't; I was just a convenient fool who was willing to do the no-listeners, pre-drive shift.) Remember that we sell brassieres by showing them on chicks who look hot in them, the same way we sell radio content through an attractive voice. We don't sell the bra in a wordy 60-second spot featuring the fat, 50-ish garment worker who came up with the latest push-up technology -- even if he has a hell of a lot more to say about it than Tyra Banks.

As for NPR listeners being conservative in this way, I won't argue, even if the word conservative is gratuitous here. Bob Edwards was an institution among the fair-trade morning-coffee set. And he's a virtuoso, even if he isn't writing the score. Everyone, liberal or conservative, should hesitate in a situation like that, to avoid blowing great talent just because some marketing guru suggested a "freshening up" of the program.

As long as we're on the subject: Wanna freshen up Morning Sedition? Theme music, for god's sake! Lose the f*cking "BAH-buh-bum-BAH-BAH-buh-dum-bum" that's meant to telegraph "Prepare to be told Important Things . . . " Who knew stale liberal earnestness and self-importance could be set to music.

No comments: