One reason I do the live shows - and the monthly speeches at public radio stations - is to remind myself that people hear the show, that it has an audience, that it exists in the world. It's so easy to forget that.
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When I say something untrue on the air, I mean for it to be transparently untrue. I assume people know when I'm just saying something for effect. Or to be funny.
I think good radio often uses the techniques of fiction: characters, scenes, a big urgent emotional question. And as in the best fiction, tone counts for a lot.
In some theoretical way I know that a half-million people hear the show. But in a day-to-day way, there's not much evidence of it.
Where radio is different than fiction is that even mediocre fiction needs purpose, a driving question.
Any journalist who doesn't stick to the day's news is sort of part journalist, part anthropologist. Once the excuse for the story stops being - it happened today - then you're square right in the other territory of journalism, which is just straight up documenting of how we live, and what we think of each other.
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This depravation of our nature is nothing else but the blotting out of God's image in us.
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