These are the posts I’m most proud of:

Satire of election coverage via disagreements between God and the new Pope

Diatribe against and explanation of the press pretending Iowa caucuses matter

Diatribe against the selection of books featured on public radio shows

Diatribe against the overuse of “sense”, as in “just give us a sense of…”

What if interviewees took sense questions literally?

Diatribe against watered-down language in general on public radio

Pun-filled debunking of a tech reporter’s obsession with smart appliances

When the NYT got a public crush on Krista Tippett (includes a Mad Lib!)

Learn the easy way WSJ’s Jay Solomon can pronounce the word “nuclear”

Now that I’ve been doing this for a few years, some themes have emerged.

On this blog you will mostly find upper-middle-brow and sometimes misanthropic commentary about the following subjects, mostly as they relate to public radio:

  • Really good/bad/empty journalism especially about things I have a lot of experience with including technology and medicine
  • Lazy repetition of conventional wisdom, especially regarding the Veterans Health Administration
  • Inherent absurdities of political correctness – I always side with women’s rights, free speech, and other enlightenment values over oppression and ignorance, especially when oppression and ignorance are gift-wrapped in religion
  • Delusional techno-euphoria
  • Hover-parenting and worship of Millenials
  • Anti-rational or pro-religion sentiment in the media
  • Weird language ticks on public radio, like habitually over-using “sense of” or randomly saying weird things like “on a Tuesday…”
  • Mis-pronunciations, like “nookyoolar” for “nuclear”, by both reporters and interviewees


Don’t get me wrong, I love Public Radio, NPR especially. My life would be far less enjoyable without it.

But nobody’s perfect.

Public broadcasting in general and public radio in particular are the last bastions of content inoculated from the ever-lower lowest common denominator free market.  As a result it shall be held to higher standards than the mass-media money honeys, squawking heads, and priests of celebrity worship.

Public radio has the most easily annoyed, persnickety, proudly upper-middlebrow listeners in the world, and I think I’m 99th percentile in all of those categories. So who better to start a blog solely for the purpose of bringing to light public radio’s broadcasting practices which range from great to silly to tone deaf to unprofessional/irresponsible?

For the purpose of selling recycled reports on CD, NPR touts its “Driveway Moments“, which they refer to as times when “rather than turn the radio off, you stay in your car to hear the piece to the end.”

For the purposes of this blog, I’d like to expand the in-car listening imagery by introducing the concept of “Airbag moments“. Those are the times when someone on Public Radio says something so ridiculous that your airbag is suddenly deployed when you beat your fist on the steering wheel as you rant at the radio.

Note: Some confuse my use of “airbag” with an air-sickness bag. As I explained, I am talking about an automobile airbag, but feel free to interpret it either way depending on your level of annoyance.

So I invite all you NPRs (Nerdy Peevish Radicals (c)(tm) Airbag Moments) to join me in ranting about a few of your least favorite things. Co-bloggers welcome, inquire within.

7 thoughts on “About

  1. I’m glad I found this blog. Can’t wait to get early warnings on all my stupid tics. Thanks for listening so very carefully!

  2. I’m glad you found it too! Thank for posting. It helps to know people pay attention. The reason I started the blog was exasperation at the form emails I received back when emailing comments…I could never tell whether or not the messages were getting through to anyone they were meant for.

    By the way, just like Stephen Colbert doesn’t see race, I don’t hear sarcasm, so I’ll take your comment at face value… 🙂

  3. Good point. I’m preparing a boring but brief review of the NPR Media Player to be posted soon, but I’ll try to cast my withering gaze on specific sites as well.

  4. My most memorable moment was occurred during one of my tedious commutes to work in the Philadelphia ‘burbs. Boring Edition did a story about how bad the living conditions were in Egypt for everyday folks. Now, this was only a short time after the USA and other forces had removed Egypts first democratically-elected President, Morsi. The Muslim brotherhood had been outlawed. Party members rounded up, much ugliness. So on and on the npr reporter droned about how people couldn’t get food, get gas for their car, etc. YET AT NO TiME did the reporter explain what person or force had caused such misery!!! I screamed at my car radio, “and the US was responsible for creating the situation in the first place !!!” The airbag didn’t deploy bug it certainly wasn’t for lack of trying.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s