To the editors:
Whore! Hypocrite! Media slut!
Those are just some of the comments I received on the phone last Friday morning [June 25] after the Reader hit the streets. I guess I have to agree with the masses; even my aunt Maxine called to question my integrity, what integrity?
I am all of the above. I am guilty, a hired gun for the media barons! I illustrated that piece-of-shit article “How Do I Hate NPR? Let Me Count the Ways” by Glenn Garvin.
I am a hypocrite, and I deserve all the disdain from my peers I have been receiving. When the assigning editor from the Reader told me about the story I hesitated, and told her point blank that if there was anything nasty about Terry Gross or her show Fresh Air in that story I wouldn’t illustrate it. I don’t often take a stand (at least not since the 60s), but I have my limits, gray as they may be these days.
The article was nasty, sour, and (the worst offense in these days of group sharing) pointless!
I love NPR. In fact every radio I own is tuned to WBEZ, and having just reemerged on the Chicago scene from the east coast tri-state area, I still have my truck radio programmed to both the New York and Philadelphia public stations, just in case.
I am not hooked; I can quit any time, I tell myself, but why would I want to? There are so few PC pleasures left in life, creative, intelligent radio programming should be applauded. Any organization that can fund and produce Whad’Ya Know?, Fresh Air, and the “Diaries of David Sedaris” is right up there next to God and Ben & Jerry’s mint oreo. In fact, dare I say it . . . a near-religious experience would be having Sedaris cleaning my apartment while Glenn Garvin’s sister, Cokie, Daniel, Bob, Susan, Linda, and I listen to Terry Gross and play with our cow-dominos from Michael Feldman. Oh God (or Goddess) please forgive me, I have sinned! Now I have to listen to pledge week in hell for the rest of eternity!
Andrew J. Epstein
Glenn Garvin replies:
I’m so glad Mr. Epstein wrote. From now on, every story I do for the Reader will contain a nasty crack about Terry Gross or her show Fresh Air. That way, there’s at least a chance the Reader will assign the illustration to a competent artist.