Monday, July 26, 2010

Why is DC obsessed with NPR

I am pretty sure that DC is the only city that is OBSESSED with NPR. Occasionally, if I were bored out of my mind, I would flip on NPR to see what was going on.  Especially on long trips when I was tired of flipping through the music channels.  My brother recently confessed that he listens to NPR (and I judged him a little bit). But it wasn't until I moved to DC that I realized what a cult following NPR has.

As a disclaimer, I give cab drivers a pass.  They are stuck in the car all day.  They have to listen to annoying passengers.  So they listen to NPR.  NPR is fairly unobjectionable and I'm sure people don't get cross with them for listening to it.  But now on to the rest of DC.

My annoyance with NPR started when I went on a really bad date.  We were talking about music and I said I am a rock girl at heart (I didn't have the heart to say that my mother likes heavy metal and that it only gets worse with age and that I'd move from classic rock to Metallica in no time).  His response, "I don't really listen to music."  I said, "then what are you listening to on your ipod?" I wish I could make this stuff up, but I can't.  He said, "I listen to NPR podcasts."  Really?!?  I SO judge.

Then I started looking around.  People were talking about what they heard on NPR.  They were discussing the news of the day.  Not that this is a bad thing, but do people in DC realize that there is more to life than news?  Do they realize that the only people who listen to NPR are elites?  Do they realize that listening to NPR (admittedly) is only cool in places like DC and that if you admitted it outside of the beltway you are likely to get your ass kicked?

I like to think I still bring my Midwest credibility to DC.  I may be full of crap, but I think it is good to get out of DC and into the real world occasionally. There is a chance that I have it wrong and that listening to NPR is awesome and something that should be exported across the rest of the country to regular joes.  But chances are, I'm not wrong.  For now, I'm going to stick to listening to bad 80's music on my ipod and if you ever catch me downloading an NPR podcast to my ipod, buy me a beer and make me dance.


CW said...

Patton Oswalt has the greatest bit on NPR...

"Later on NPR, we'll talk to a woman who makes macrameƩ belts out of old typewriter ribbons..."

Anonymous said...

Surprisingly, NPR is also big in Seattle. Although the cult following is not as big as it is in DC.

I personally don't listen to NPR on a regular basis (I prefer to get my news from other sources), but I don't think it's such a bad thing that it's so prevalent inside the Beltway.

In fact, I think it's a good thing. The people living here are responsible for making decisions on behalf of the rest of the country. They better be well-educated and news-obsessed! (Although, I draw the line at podcasts. That's just wrong...)