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Fresh Air: Terry Gross interviews Ira Glass and Mike Birbiglia...

Among the niche audience that is regular NPR listeners, I’ve found that not liking Terry Gross is a surprisingly unpopular position, and yet, there’s something about her that rubs me the wrong way.  Maybe it’s how soft-spoken she is.  Maybe it’s the way she laughs at people’s jokes.  Maybe it’s that she spoils big moments in film and television without any warning.  In any case, I still listen to her when she has a good guest.  In that spirit, I listened an episode of Fresh Air from August 20th as Terri Gross interviewed Ira Glass and Mike Birbiglia, a reading off of names that very likely sent some NPR listeners into hysterical fits as they wondered if such a thing were even possible.   It was a fine interview.  It’s not hard to see why Terry Gross gets such respected names as she manages to be actively engaged during interviews, generally polite if sometimes oblivious*, and willing to be silent for long stretches.  It really does seem to fulfill what was said in class the other day in that she lets the experts fill the air.  The most interesting part of this interview was when Ira Glass left a long beat after a question and then explained that he had done it because he expected his answer to be bad and wanted the editor to have a chance to cut it.  The moment spoke both to Glass’s professionalism and his megalomania.  Maybe I should point out that I like Ira Glass so that I’m not such a Negative Nelly.  I do.  Mike Birbiglia too.  And I hope one day to be interviewed by Terry Gross.  What a mess, right?   *I once heard her ask Joan Didion something along the lines of, “Is it hard to outlive a daughter?”...
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