June 21, 2015; Christian Science Monitor
Maybe it was unfortunate timing for NPR to feature Kim Kardashian on a segment of Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me! the same week that Donald Trump declared himself a presidential candidate again, expressing his dream that Oprah join his ticket. But the resulting outrage and indignation among those NPR listeners who were deeply offended by Kardashian’s unusual gig on the show, known in part for its mild self-deprecating acknowledgement of NPR’s own elitist image, was admittedly a bit over the top.
According to the Washington Post, one listener wrote, “My first impulse after her introduction on the show was to question the meaning of life.” Another laid into NPR’s ombudsman, Elizabeth Jensen, saying that they found the show “so misguided and offensive, I fear I will never be able to listen again.”
A third (and my personal favorite) observed that, “I think three horsemen of the apocalypse are now fully mounted.”
“Seriously thinking about dropping my membership,” wrote another, getting ready to drop a big load of passive aggression on her former radio companion in life: “I thought NPR had a certain class/values and it looks like we might be heading in another direction that I’m not willing to go with you. Just thought I’d give you a heads up. Have a sparkling day!” (Shades of Nuts in May.)
Personally, I think having Kardashian on was a bold move—countercultural and possibly questionable, but certainly no more offensive than some of the obnoxious self-celebratory TED talks I have happened upon via NPR over the last few years. I usually just mutter a curse and turn the dial, but that’s just me.—Ruth McCambridge