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Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Top 10 Podcasts: #10 Fresh Air with Terry Gross
[Editor's Note: The following is the first in a series covering my top 10 podcasts and my favorite episodes from each.]
NPR mainstay WHYY's Fresh Air with Terry Gross is nothing if not relentless. On any given week they blast my iTunes folder with no less than five episodes. About 85% of these are socially-conscious interviews covering any array of completely depressing topics. I specifically remember one such episode (I won't bother to look it up) in which Terry asks for a detailed description of a dog being put to sleep. These episodes are often enlightening and informative. They are also a complete drag. (Possibly why I have over 100-episode pileup growing on my iPod.)
But when Terry Gross turns her laser-like attention to popular culture the 15% of the time she does, nothing is more fun.
There are many essential episodes of Fresh Air, but Terry really gets the lead out when she's challenged by her subject. This makes episodes like her debacles with Gene Simmons and Bill O'Reilly some of the finest moments in radio.