A Kontroversial guest! NPR tested its audience last week when the beloved, intellectually minded broadcasting network invited reality star Kim Kardashian to be a guest on its popular quiz show, “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!,” which frequently features celebrity interviews.
Aware that the pregnant-again celeb’s appearance had upset fans, the radio network’s website published an article from its official ombudsman, Elizabeth Jensen, on Wednesday, June 17, highlighting its listeners’ widely negative responses.
One listener from Burlington, Vermont, wrote, “I recently gave a small gift to my local NPR station. Had I heard your Saturday show before I made my gift, I wouldn't have donated. The Kardashians represent much of what is wrong with America today — and I listen to NPR to get AWAY from Kardashian-like garbage."
Apparently memberships might also be affected by the station’s decision, with another listener from Tuftonboro, New Hampshire writing, “Seriously thinking about dropping my membership. 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.”
The ombudsman noted that her inbox was “overflowing” with negative reactions to Kardashian’s interview. Adding that “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” is, in fact, a comedy show and “an equal opportunity offender,” she didn’t seem to see the problem in the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star’s appearance.
“Many listeners seem willing to laugh until the comedy is turned on something that touches their own lives or sensitivities,” she wrote. “I'm still not sure what to make of this week's outrage over Kardashian, who was indeed a surprising guest, given how often the show has pilloried her and her clan in the past. She wasn't a great guest—she had a couple funny lines—but she was gracious.”
Reminding readers that Kardashian’s interview only lasted 11 minutes, she went on to list a few Kardashian supporters, who praised her for the “daring” appearance.
Tell Us: Do you think NPR was wrong to interview Kim Kardashian?
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