She’s Krista Tippett

Sometimes it’s like the rain.

“I’m Krista Tippett.”

“I’m Krista Tippett.”

“I’m Krista Tippett.”

“And this is…” <pause> “…Speaking of Faaaaiiiiith.”

How does she always manage to say it exactly the same way? And is it just me or does she say her name a lot more than other public radio hosts? Oh well, she’s Krista Tippett.

A probing, clear eyed analysis of religion in modern life is a great idea for a show, but SoF’s editorial stance, which seems to me to be something along the lines of “isn’t it just so nice that people are religious!” (what Daniel Dennett calls “Belief in belief“), leaves me a little cold. The episodes I’ve heard tend to sound like commercials for the ideas/dogmas the guests espouse. Krista rarely challenges them.

A laudable but all-too-brief exception occurred in a recent interview with a Mormon scholar. There is a Thanksgiving cornucopia of refutations to bring against Mormon historical and theological claims, but Krista chose only one. It was a good one, though. Mormon founder Joseph Smith miraculously “translated” some actual hieroglyphic scrolls (before anyone knew how to!) which were subsequently lost and then rediscovered in the 1960s, by which time humankind had mastered non-miraculous hieroglyphic translation. Inconveniently for Tippett’s guest it turns out Smith’s version was the very worst kind of bullshit. Krista actually brought this situation up with the scholar (go Krista!!) and received an amusingly meaningless response. (Imagine how entertaining and socially beneficial an hour of that kind of hot seat would be!)

You see, the scholar explained, that whole translation gotcha isn’t irrefutable evidence for Smith’s brazen charlatanism, rather it is simply one of the solemn mysteries of the Mormon faith!

Wow.  Maybe in 150 years people will consider the whole Enron thing as a solemn mystery of some future faith which some future version of Krista “I’m Krista Tippett” Tippett can ask a believer politely about.

One other thing bugs me about SoF. In an oft-played promo for the show Krista states “you won’t hear many religious authorities” on the show.

I have two problems with this.

First of all, Krista has a Masters from Yale Divinity School. Doesn’t that qualify her as an authority?

Secondly, what the hell is wrong with authority?

36 thoughts on “She’s Krista Tippett

  1. “Secondly, what the hell is wrong with authority?” Well, nothing really, but you probably don’t need a Masters from Yale to see through the Joseph Smith malarckey. I bet it comes in handy when examining that Jesus, Buddha, and L. Ron Hubbard nonsense, though.

  2. Krista Tippett is one of the worst examples of how simperingly mainstream public broadcasting has become. This show is just one of the many crappy compromises that the baby boomers have made in what used to appear to be a value system based on ethical and moral change for the better in the world. Instead, they’ve gone mainstream in the most egregious fashion and appealed to their own pitifully vapid demographic. Bill Cling and the bunch at American Public Media(read: Minnesota Public Radio on some bizarre ego trip) have taken what could have been a good venue for real discussions regarding world religions and instead made some godawful legitimization of their own Jesus based crap. No discussion lacks the underlying assumption that we’re all Jesus people trying to understand those “other people” and their strange beliefs. Maybe we can learn something from them and bring it to Jesus, but more likely we can just condescend to study the exotic workings of the savage mind. After all, we’re special!

  3. Her voice is unbearable. It’s the same kind of voice as the people who sit around in coffee shops in berets and click instead of clap, pausing for effect before reverently uttering the words “karma” or “society.” It’s like her voice is actively trying. . . no . . . frantically PLEADING to attain divinity.

    I’m sure she’s a lovely person, but sheesh. Ever heard anyone talk about ancient Atlantean technology or Pleideans who want humanity to get along? Yeah, makes you think . . .

  4. Yes, her voice is completely unbearable. Why do she o-ver e-nun-ci-ate e-ver-ee syl-la-bull? It’s really distracting. What’s up with that? It’s *so* distracting that I can’t focus on the content of what she’s saying. Hasn’t she ever heard herself. “I’m Kris-ta Tipp-pet”

      1. She didn’t annunciate words. She enunciated words. But it’s the complete superficiality of the whole thing that is reflective of public radio generally. Baby boomers with their earnest annunciations and their poor enunciation. The idea that these programs receive public money is nauseating. More of the baby boomer sense of “togetherness,” the “commonweal,” the “public good.” Complete nonsense.

  5. I posted a critical blog piece about Tippet years ago and it has been one of my most popular articles. Every Sunday I get hits on it and occasionally a torrid response – makes me wonder if Tippet herself was one of the “anonymous”.

  6. Her voice is more annoying than the premise. These are the kind of shows that have turned National Public Radio into Nice Polite Republicans. Krista sounds high all the time. She must be high.

  7. Krista Tippett has a voice and delivery that should be put to use by the Foul Weapons Division of our Nation’s get-the-bad-guys Intelligence Service. Just clap any Arab or Pakistani in stocks and gave him a dose of Krista for twenty minutes, and if he has any sense he will gladly give you the street address of the cave where the “terrists” are hiding. We really could have used Krista during WW 2. She would have neutralized those speeches by Hitler and turned all those nasty Nazis into soft-headed poopies. Krista baby, get thee to a nunnery….

  8. What you guys are writing here is just bullshit in my opinion. I came across her podcast by chance, listened to it for a bit and decided to look up her name and that is how I wound up here and I have to say, I don’t know you or the other people who comment on your blog so approvingly but collectively, you come across as a grumpy bunch who enjoy nothing more than fueling each other’s hatred for perfectly innocent and well-meaning people.
    At least, for once, someone is making a show out there that makes people *listen* to each other instead of the endless polemics that so dreadfully disturb all public discussion of religion to the point where it seems impossible. Krista Tippett lets people talk and doesn’t jump on them. That way, they open up and at least you learn a bit about what they are really all about. That’s meaningful. Writing deriding blogs about how she’s “too nice” is not. There is nothing constructive about mocking other people, in fact, it’s probably one of the biggest sources of all the trouble between people today.
    By the way, I’m not a native speaker of English, but I enjoy her voice very much. It was the first thing I noticed when I started listening to that podcast.

  9. Hey Anonymous, thanks for commenting. You write better than most Americans raised speaking English. Your comments, however, lack much merit. The idea that hyper-Ecumenical pablum such as that spouted by Tippet and her toothless array of scrupulously non-controversial guests is improving the world is ludicrous. The idea that “mocking other people” is not an ancient, healthy and productive way to call attention problems with society, especially with the evils of conventional wisdom, is similarly bankrupt to the point of willful ignorance from someone as obviously well educated as yourself. Her voice is pretty special, though, so no argument from me there.

  10. I have been listening to SOF for a year now, and I am completely hooked! Ok, her voice is a little high-pitched and elfin, but come on! can we listen to content here and not superficial delivery? Here is why I think the show has value; the show delves into what make humans human, and looks to spirituality as the common thread that runs through all religious traditions. When I say spirituality, I mean that which connects us with the divine-compassion, kindness, humility, all those essential things that is important to the human condition. I recommend listening to the 2008 Valentine’s day program called ‘no more taking sides’. This is an interview of an Israeli mother who lost her son and a Palestinian man who lost his older brother in the Middle Eastern conflict. Instead of taking up arms and seeking revenge, they did something extraordinary: even in their tremendous pain, or perhaps because of it, they decided to lay down their arms and engage in dialogue. They realized that, for the conflict to end, they must start seeing each other as fellow humans united in their loss and suffering and only then can they end the bickering that has killed so many people. I don’t think there will be a single dry eye after listening to this story, and the tears come, not from a Hallmark sentimentality, but from the transcendent beauty of a friendship born from a place of such tremendous heroism and compassion. There is nowhere on any other radio that takes the time to talk about such an important lesson in tolerance and acceptance.

  11. Tippett is one of those who say, “There are many paths to enlightenment, and fundamentalist Christianity isn’t one of them.” In that regard she is just as close-minded as the fundamentalist Christians. She will flog any form of religion – even fly-fishing – as a more enlightened path than Christianity. And, yes, the way she says “Speaking of Faaaaaiiiiiiiitth” is very annoying.

    1. I can’t believe all the comments on whether or not Krista’s voice is annoying. Do you really think she sits down and practices in front of a mirror?

  12. Pnin, did she say “There are many paths to enlightenment, and fundamentalist Christianity isn’t one of them.” ?
    I’ve heard her speak quite a bit and I’ve never heard her say that.!
    Let me know where you heard that and I will give it a listen or is that just some sort of Rushism, (I mean your opinion)?
    That’s just the sort of thing someone who supports Al-Qaeda would say.

  13. bill: I agree with you. I’ve never heard Tippett criticize any religion, fundamentalist or no. In fact it’s her hyperactive ecumenicism I find so annoying.

  14. Being cynical is so much easier than being sincere and it can be clever and fun to indulge in making fun of the sincere but it is not very useful or kind. Maybe it is because I work with parents of children who have autism and they are in the thick of an unexpected and difficult parenting life, yet they want to experience joy and they want their life to have meaning–maybe this is why I find your kind of criticism disrespectful. I spend my life watching all the ways that people in crisis get through life–ways that you could certainly make fun of if you ever turned your intellectual prowess to doing this. Krista Tippet is interested in these kinds of people, though and listens to their thoughts. There is a place for respectful, insightful investigation of belief systems, of course. But I don’t think you have achieved this in your approach. The guests on Krista Tippett’s show and indeed her manner of listening to her guests are easy grist for ridicule, as you have found, but more importantly, they are inspiration for many or she would not be so well-loved. I am a fan of Krista Tippet.

    1. RELIGION is a crock of shit and should never be taken seriously by ANYONE even Krista Tippett

      It is the root of the worlds problem and a STAGNATION of human growth and understanding.

  15. Some of your criticisms do make sense, but I am going to hang with the positive side mainly because in listening to this sort of thing I am being exposed to people that I never heard of, but who for the most part have something interesting to say, such as autism. And the most interesting thing I have heard yet was the interview on stem cell research because it connects with the subject area in which I read the most which is love amd spirituality. What’s love got to do with it? Everything. Check out the show for today Oct 2, 2010.

  16. I have listened to Krista many times , and I do not find her voice annoying ….. I enjoy the dialogue that happens and I do not believe her purpose is to challenge individuals about their beliefs but to raise questions that lead to understanding and tolerance of the many varied forms of belief systems that exist , the commonality being that which makes us human. I think that any discussion that leads to understanding is worthwhile ….. there is enough political and religious self-righteousness…. That is not what we need anymore …..We need a different kind of voice in this wilderness …and Krista gives voice to that needs , I think ………
    kathy a

  17. Krista Tippet does a fine interview program that interests this atheist. Her voice is calming, her empathic if not probing questions smart, her selection of people with various beluefs who do something posutve in the word sure bat the negative characters here whobare used to life in the Fox hole.

  18. Krista Tippet new agey baby boomer of trippy hippy parents is the most unbearable kiss@ss on
    NPR period. She could be interviewing the head ‘beheader’ ISIS leader of the most sadistic
    murderous wing of the organization and somehow embrace Mohammed or Allah as totally
    logical believable entities. “I’m Krissssta TiPPett and thissss issss ON beeeing”! RUINS my
    Sunday radio listening. If enough people say ENOUGH of this woman, won’t NPR yank
    this ridiculous program?
    WHY is religion in Public Radio anyway? WHY? She’s some kind of nutty Christian who sounds
    like she just smoked a bong load and everything is ‘groovy’. She would agree with Charles Manson and figure out a way to applaud his achievements!

  19. Stumbled across “On Being” one Sunday while on a road trip. Whomever the guest was had reasonably interesting and insightful ways to just sort of approach daily problems, but the host (KT) just kept interrupting. Her interjections ran the gamut from “gosh golly” breathless fanboy affirmation to unnecessary hmmms and um hums (To prove she was listening?!) to that unique-to-public radio habit of jumping in to explain to the listener a definition wrapped in humblebrag. (“Yes, NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Go on.”)
    Tuned in on purpose a few more Sundays to quickly discover there’s really only room for her brand of comfort Xianity, a Jesus-lite filter to pass through semi-harmless feelgood pablum of the guest’s spirituality of the week. Had to turn it off for good recently when CT was explaining to a black woman how that woman should approach civil rights issues.
    Who listens to this shit and buys her books? Being a Liberal used to mean a respect for research, science, reality and honest debate. This crap is just warmed-up Carl Rogers with a side a Wayne Dwyer. Meh.

    1. I couldn’t take her nauseating, holier than thou, I’m more erudite than you, let me simplify and help you understand commentary when she broadcast on WHYY, and when we left that listening area, what did I find?? She’s now prominently on WNYC!!! It is incredible to me that someone who presents as a complete charlatan narcissist has found and wound her way into legitimate public dialogue! What has happened in our society?

      No response necessary or required…

  20. She’s a lovely beautiful woman who brings meaning and light to the world. When I hear her show come on, I can’t wait to quickly get to the radio and TURN IT OFF OR TO A DIFFERENT STATION!!!

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