NPR “Fresh Air” host Terry Gross tells Marc Maron in a recent interview in front of a live audience at the BAM Opera House in Brooklyn:
There was a period when I didn’t want to be photographed. It was a short period, but I declined to be photographed because I thought radio listeners want you to be who they think you are visually. I’d meet people and they’d go, “Oh! really?” There’s this thing, like, when you’re on radio and you feel [?] the speaker, people assume, So she’s tall. And really, I’m so short. And so I’d always feel like people would meet me and they’d feel like – they’d hide their disappointment. Like – “Oh, she’s kind of short. she’s not really very glamorous.” So I thought, let me be whoever they want me to be visually.
Mom to Terry: Don’t tell them anything about us!
I grew up in a family that thought that we shouldn’t share things about the family. You keep that inside. And so there was an article about me that was written for Philadelphia magazine years ago, and the gist of the article was: People don’t know much about her, they don’t know who she really is. One of the people on my staff was quoted as saying, “She’s really great, I really like working with her. I don’t know a thing about her.”
So my mother took the article and said, “You shouldn’t have told them all of this!” She said something like, “I don’t even want this in my house!” And I was like, “Mom, the article was about how nobody knows anything about me!” So it’s kind of ironic that what I do for a living is help people share things about themselves that might be of value to other people.
New: Gross is referring to a Philadelphia article from September of 1992, “Terry Gross Hears Voices,” by Bob Huber. It’s not online, but editors Joel Mathis and Timothy Haas were kind enough to dig it up and send this clip.
* Marc Maron interviews Terry Gross (unedited, 90 minutes) (wtfpod.com) | Shorter edited NPR version (npr.org)
Offstage Stephen Colbert “was so nice,” says “Fresh Air” host Terry Gross, who appeared on “The Colbert Report” last Thursday. “He warns you beforehand that he’s going to be in character, that he’s going to interrupt you. And you correct him, you tell him where he is wrong. Before the show he came back to the green room and said hello to members of my family and the producers of our show. He’s really just the most gracious person. I love him and I love his show. I was so proud to be on it.”
* Brightest Young Things talks to Terry Gross
Earlier today I tweeted a link to what the NPR Tumblr-masters said were the lyrics to the “Morning Edition” theme song. Romenesko reader @JoeDeaux was skeptical, and tweeted the above. I asked NPR spokeswoman Anna Christopher to tell us more about the lyrics:
They are real (or realish). I’m told it’s something BJ [Leiderman] did on a lark — the theme doesn’t “have” lyrics that to my knowledge have been recorded or that anyone actually knows. It’s a little quirky thing. …BJ wrote lyrics for a laugh — it was nothing official, nothing that NPR had asked for.
* NPR Tumblr
Some on Twitter criticized NPR for plugging its new voice-controlled app for Ford vehicles on its news programs, but I also saw tweets from people who were excited about the product. (“COOL!” “May have to buy a new car now.”)
Here’s the “Morning Edition” report on the new app.
An NPR listener complained that “when anything is mentioned on NPR concerning religion, it seems that the only religion mentioned is the Catholic religion.” NPR ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos examined the coverage and, with the help of librarian Elizabeth Allin, found that Islam was most-often mentioned on the network over the last 12 months. The findings:
Is NPR Doing Too Many Stories on Catholicism? (NPR)
Artist Gaelan Kelly’s “How the NPR voices look in my head” blog post from early summer was such a hit that he did a follow-up in September that included sketches of “Click and Clack,” Steve Inskeep, Diane Rehm and other NPRers. Kelly told readers:
It’s probably no surprise to anybody that after I had finished with the drawings I needed to go online to find the correct spelling and fill in the names. This was (for the most part) the first time I actually saw what these NPR personalities really looked like. Turns out their photos are all over NPR.org, huh, who knew?
Justin Kaufmann of WBEZ radio in Chicago learned of Kelly’s sketches this week and did an email interview with the artist, which was posted yesterday. Kelly told him:
With the possible exception of Terry Gross, I think I may have come closest to capturing what Ira Glass looks like in reality. I can hear his thick framed glasses and tall lanky frame through my ear-buds.
I also sent the artist a few questions. He told me:
My contact with the actual NPR personalities has been pretty limited aside from seeing my work promoted on their various program’s websites. Which I take as a ringing endorsement! Those that have responded have mostly done so through Twitter and have said nice things, Peter Sagal sharing it with Steve Inskeep was pretty great. The one that really made my day however was Bob Edwards who left me a comment on my site in response to my post: “I was not retiring. I have hot retired. I likely never will.” Beautiful.
So far I haven’t offered prints because I can’t see other people wanting my interpretations of the NPR voices. Everyone has their own mental image, which in my opinion is kinda the fun of it. But that said, if Terry Gross or Click & Clack or any of the others wanted a print I would certainly do it!
What kind of traffic is he getting from social media? “There is a lot of activity from Facebook and Twitter though… G+? Eh, not so much.”