I consider myself lucky.
I don’t have as many haters as I did from 1992 to 2008 when I appeared daily on WTIC-AM, pretty much coinciding with its transition into a hardcore conservative radio station. Consequently, a lot of its listeners despised me, every day.. That does strange things to you, over 16 years.
Now, not so much. Public radio listeners can be prickly, but, by and large, we all get along.
Trying to keep track of animadversion in the old days would be like trying to chart individual raindrops in a monsoon. Now, it’s more manageable.
Here’s an unusual one: two listeners announced that they are parting ways with me forever over ….well, see for yourself:
EVAN: I was listening to your interview with Illeana Douglas and was shocked when you announced the ending of “Easy Rider.” I have never seen that movie–and now it is ruined for me. You are such a putz. That was the last time I will ever listen to your show. Why you are on NPR, I will never understand. You are top to bottom a commercial radio show.
SAM: It has depressed me for days, as the movie will never be the same experience for me. I listen to you show (or listened) every day. I changed my radio settings the next day.
Evan dislikes me and my show, generally. He needed to find something else to listen to. Sam is more troubling. I wrote back and told him that, in a free-flowing conversation, it’s not always possible to think about whether the ending of a 45-year-old movie is fair game. I told him I was sorry. I also told him — and this is true — that the ending of “Easy Rider” is not the point. The point is everything that leads up to it. One might say the same about any Shakespeare tragedy.
Anyway, it turns out Sam does not give out second chances. Here’s the Illeana show.