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A pointed critique of Mr. Ashbrook and his radio program

I sometimes contribute to my local NPR radio station. In return, they send me frequent emails to try to entice me to contribute more. Today's email provides what the marketer hopes will be a compelling subject line: Ask Tom Ashbrook your question.

To which my first thought is: "Tom... Ashbrook... why... are you.... an enormous.... tool?"

For those of you who don't live in a broadcasting area which features a full four hours daily of Tom Ashbrook, consider yourself blessed. His stilted pacing and penchant for cutting off his guests with flippant cliches makes for an eye-gougingly annoying 10am-12pm time-slot. Here's an example I just made up (with first line courtesy of today's Economist blog post.)

Expert: ...This approach may mitigate the suffering inflicted by looksism, but it doesn't address the other part of the problem: the degree of discrimination and its cultural roots -

Tom Ashbrook: Six... of one.... half dozen.... of.... the... other..... Tina is calling from Greenville South Carolina... Tina... what's on your mind?

Tina: Hi Tom. I'm a mother of fower boys, and the government jes seems to make such a mess of everything, I cayn't imagine em tellin us where to work er how tall we have to be!

Expert: Tina, I don't think that's at all the intent of this litigation -

Tom Ashbrook: We've got to go to a break. We're talking today about appearance discrimination: have you... broken through... the looking... glass... ceiling? Give us a call at On Point, with Tom Ashbrook.

etc. etc. Then the entire program is repeated from 7 to 9 in the evening. I'll forget this schedule, and mistakenly turn on the radio to accompany a sink full of dishes. Only to my horror, I hear something like:

Early.... to.... bed.... early... to..... rise.... Jenny is calling us from Acton, Massachusetts....


WBUR would do a better job fundraising if they COMPELLED me to go to a dinner with Tom Ashbrook, and then allowed me to make a contribution in order to NOT go. In fact, I'll re-write the email line for them:

Subject line: Forced dinner with Tom Ashbrook or we TP your house.

Body text: Click here to get out of it, AND help pay for news!


Great blog!!
Thanks for letting us read about your family!!

that is a SPOT ON imitation clearly Im in NPR withdrawal because when I do find myself near a radio Ill listen to whatever theyre broadcasting even On Point

Oh, don't be a hater! I totally don't mind him! Can you deal with Diane Rehm???

You are TOO FUNNY to mention Diane Rehm! I almost put a sentence about her in this blog post... "For those of you who don't live in a broadcasting area which features a full four hours daily of Tom Ashbrook, consider yourself blessed. Unless of course you have to deal with Diana Rehm. She sounds like she's going to drop dead on the air any day now."

But then I didn't include it, because, like you said, that might be taking the hating a little too far.

I'm just a bitter bitter person and I expect a lot from my on-air personalities :)

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