In case you missed his recent talk at the Brown Theater, This American Life host Ira Glass is on Reddit for an Ask Me Anything.
AMA’s are essentially mass question and answer sessions hosted on the immensely popular site Reddit. You can visit the Ira Glass session to see his answers. His words are posted under the username “MrIraGlass.”
Here are a few highlights:
On more fervently fact checking every show:
Still a question is what to do about David Sedaris. He doesn’t pretend the stories are true. He says to everyone they’re “true enough for you.” I assume the audience can tell, he’s a funny writer, there may be exaggerations for comic effect. We have three choices: 1) assume the audience is smart enough to tell; 2) label his stuff on the air as possibly non-factual (hard to figure out a way to do that which doesn’t kill the fun but there probably is one); 3) fact check him the way the New Yorker does. I honestly don’t know where I stand on this one. When I pose the Q to public radio audiences, at speeches and events, they overwhelmingly vote #1, with a vociferous tiny minority who feel strongly in favor of #2.
On his favorite episodes of TAL:
I wish I had one favorite because it would make it easier to answer this question. I have lots. My favorites tend to be the same as everyone’s – when we started a favorites page we ended up with five pages and dozens of shows.I like the episodes where we try stuff that’s new, stuff that’s hard. This Week, 20 Acts in 60 Minutes, the episode on an aircraft carrier (which along with our Habeas are arguably the two funniest hours of broadcasting about the War on Terror; Habeas our goal was to make a show about the writ of Habeas Corpus that a normal person would be able not just to tolerate but actually ENJOY). Testosterone’s another I love. And – the hardest episode of all – not a listener favorite I think but definitely one of mine, is Stories Our Parents Pitch where every act was pitched by a staffer’s parents.
Too many to name. Death to Wacky. Secret Life of Daytime. Million Bubbles. In those we aimed high and failed. The Adventure stories in Adventure! Julie Snyder and I just got into a conversation disagreeing about 2010 which aimed high and I swear hit the mark and she says sucks. Idea of that one was to do a show at the start of the year, not looking back at the previous year like everyone else does, but predicting actual things that would happen in the coming year. I love Shalom’s story in that.
Heh. No. I think it’s actually a little cheesy that that’s the prize on Wait Wait. I think they should give out a copy of the Encyclopedia Brittanica or something if you win.