NPR and knitting
I hate NPR.
Let me say right off that I know this is a controversial statement and that many many many people love NPR. In fact, the hilarious site Stuff White People Like devoted an entire post to How Much White People Love NPR. My father, a non-white person, loves NPR, and I grew up in the heartland of public radio, San Francisco. Several of my high school friends went on to work for public radio, my high school math teacher’s wife actually was some sort of host on our local NPR affiliate, and it’s basically impossible to ride in anyone’s car in the Bay Area without having it tuned in to public radio. And last year, I accidentally offended a friend of Adam’s, who worked for the Kansas affiliate of NPR, by saying I hated NPR, and then I felt awful, because I think the most obnoxious thing to do is to insult someone else’s job. (I realize I am repeating this offense by blogging about it.) So let me say that I definitely respect anyone who works for NPR, and it does offer a ton of valuable information, including foreign news and in-depth reporting rarely found on the radio, and that I think all the people who work for public radio are doing a great job and offering a valuable resource to the country. And I say this sincerely.
On the other hand, have you actually ever listened to NPR’s non-news shows? They are unbearable. (I am making an exception for “Car Talk,” which I find interesting.) The Stuff White People Like post quotes Summer from The O.C. (a fine fine show) describing NPR super-accurately: Summer: “Is that that show ["This American Life"] where those hipster know-it-alls talk about how fascinating ordinary people are? God.” I was joking with Adam that I just might hate NPR for all the same reasons that knee-jerk right-wing “real Americans” hate NPR–the smug elitism of the liberals, the affected way of talking (oh my god, the pauses), and the horribly un-funny things that NPR hosts and listeners find funny.
Since my father and Adam both love NPR, this means that I am constantly subjected to its terrible shows (I listen to WCBS at home, weather on the 8s, thank you very much) and ridiculous hosts, and the show that drives me particularly insane is “Wait, wait, don’t tell me!” Now if you have somehow lived your life without listening to this show, then you should consider yourself blessed. It’s basically a quiz show about events that happened in the news that week, presented in a multiple-choice format, with several jokey answers and one or two plausible answers. (You can go here to read some of the sample questions and answers.) Then (this is the part that is a little confusing to me) a celebrity panelist and a listener face off in answering the questions. (It airs on Sunday from 1:00 to 2:00 in New York, a time when Adam controls the radio dial, hence my unfortunate familiarity with the show.)
So, on to the knitting connection. Apparently, recently on “Wait, wait, don’t tell me!” Mo Rocca said that all handknit sweaters were “itchy,” or something, and knitters across the land rose up in revolt. I think this is especially hilarious because I am guessing that a huge percentage of “Wait, wait don’t tell me!” listeners are knitters (Norah Gaughan, for one). Some of the knitters banded together and knit Mo Rocca a sweater and then presented it to him. A blogger for the Chicago Public Radio blog wrote a funny recap of the whole thing, and what I find particularly funny is that I think the blogger just might have the same feelings about knitters that I have about NPR, particularly when he wrote: “I’m pretty sure they were knitting throughout the whole show, like victims of OCD but with pointy needles.” Haha. Knitters and NPR, allies torn apart by Mo Rocca. But don’t worry, apparently Mo Rocca learned to knit, and then went on to a morning show and modeled his handiwork to Martha Stewart herself, so knitters, stay calm. Mo Rocca is now an NPR listener and a knitter. All is right with the world again.