Walt Brand

September 2, 2004

Post #1744 – 20040902

The funniest thing about DP — and we can all think of several of *those* right off the tops of our heads, right, kids? — may be, arguably is, the continuing refusal of NPR hosts to allow themselves to be enchanted by DP’s radio presence, sometimes excepting Scott Simon. But Terry Gross and the Magliozzi brothers, daffy as they all are on their own, seem to cringe in fear from the looming, ominous playfulness of DP. There’s an audible dead stop and double take when DP talks to them. Sometimes they even seem to take offense at what he says and try feebly to zing him.

After a while, the truth dawns: THEY JUST DON’T GET HIM (either that, or it’s all just an act).

This makes no sense; after all, these are educated, intelligent people whose NPR job descriptions require that they not take themselves too seriously, unless things have changed since my own radio days. But it turns out to be tremendously amusing, as they try, with comic results, to get out from under (you’ll pardon the expression) or work their way conversationally around someone who from all appearances is only being himself. I’ve never heard anything quite like it, and it is in itself a telling commentary on the state of public radio that its hosts react like Margaret Dumont to the very un-Marxist sallies of DP.

Let us call it the Pinkwater Effect.

–from inside a pet peachpit called Lance,

Walt Brand

Daniel replies:

Maybe they sense the danger. I'd be scared if I suddenly found myself talking to me. In fact, I often am.