Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Terry, Mary; they're contrary

Terry Gross (of NPR's Fresh Air) is no good at politcal interviews. Some malcontents have questioned whether she's good at any interviews, but I don't agree. Her political naivete leaves her pretty much incapable of asking anything worthwhile, asking questions everyone knows the guest's answers to and letting slide multiple opportunities for revelatory questions. Her movie stars and jazz musicians would not be able similarly to get away with all of their snow-job answers intact.

It's pretty obvious that she's unread in politics and has little interest in it. Yet she has everyday liberal assumptions that end up leading a charge against right-wing guests. It's absolutely painful to hear.

With a conservative politico, Gross's questions are like a frigid mother forcing herself to talk about sex with her twelve-year-old child. Awkward and embarrassed and full of disagreement, yet straining not to give offense, Gross's halting questions nevertheless always go straight to some hot-button opinion that she can't understand why her guests hold. No carressing of the guest, no establishment of rapport. Just the clumsy and ignorant, "Why did you feel that way?"

Today's interview with Mary Cheney was less strained that that with her mother Lynne Cheney, who left Gross impaled somewhere back in 1973. Both interviews were utterly agonizing and unenlightening.

Gross should bring in Dave Davies for these, as she does with sports figures.

[No links; no photos. Christ I hate blogging.]

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