Tracy listens while washing the dishes, and we catch some of it.
You can feel the discomfort of some of them as they report more market-friendly ideas than they ordinarily would - because they are reporting world events, and all those Europeans and Canadians - who used to be such reliable contrasts to us cowboy, materialistic Americans - are increasingly contrasts in the other direction: kicking out socialists, cutting back on the safety net, trying to contain (gasp) left wing mobs. In world events, NPR is being dragged where it does not want to go. But some of them are honest, if misguided liberals, and follow where the facts lead. Others can barely get a sentence out without having to undercut it in the next breath. We shall see.
To compensate, I think their American reporting is burrowing ever deeper into comfort territory. [UPDATE: Or Not. See Fresh Air.] Tonight there was a longish interview with Bradley Cooper (did I get the name right?). Before I knew who they were talking to, I was bolt upright listening to them falling into form. They spent ten minutes talking about whether he was one of the cool kids in high school and college or whether he was somehow apart - one of those artsy intellectuals who was a bit of a loner, you know?* (For those new here, I have been mentioning for years that this question is a dominant one for liberals. They are unable to let it go, somehow. As a nostalgic person I understand somewhat, but people, we have to move on. I thought it was just Boomers, but I am finding it is more general.)
Who the hell cares? Such things sometimes come up in conversation in an adult's life and some analysis of self is instructive. But this is a national radio program, supposedly discussing artistic development, recent and important work, or other grownup ideas. Sports interviewers don't spend that much time asking friggin' athletes about their high school careers. Even while they're still in their 20's.
I swear that culture is dominated by people who spend their lives trying to prove that they really were cooler when they were young, but the benighted fools just couldn't see that.
*Yes he was distant, even from the theater people, because he was more into film.