On Monday, Mississippi Public Broadcasting announced it had dropped Terry Gross and Fresh Air because of “recurring inappropriate content.” (Full disclosure: I used to work for NPR.) The blog that first reported the news, Serenity Home, wondered whether that inappropriate content might be some of Fresh Air’s recent gay-oriented interviews. I wondered whether it might be a Dave Weigel interview about the new right politics. No, on both counts – it’s not the gays and it’s not the Tea Parties. Here’s the deal. Mississippi Public Broadcasting shares a campus with offices for the state’s colleges and universities, and we have learned that some of those offices play public radio for callers who are on hold. Recently, a caller got put on hold during Fresh Air and heard Terry Gross ask comedian Louis C.K. if he always has sex with his shirt on. The caller complained, the station’s zero-tolerance policy for inappropriate conduct content* kicked in, and away went Terry Gross and Fresh Air for Mississippi. UPDATE: Fresh Air responds, says no one explained the cancellation. UPDATE, II: Mississippi Public Broadcasting responds. *Sorry for the typo earlier. Full transcript of the exchange after the jump. From the show’s July 7 episode:
Louis CK: But if I’m with a woman and she wants to be with me, she must like me. I definitely have sex with my T-shirt on, always. I haven’t had sex without a shirt on, God, since I was about 23.” Terry Gross: Is that true? Louis CK: Yeah, I just don’t think that’s fair. I mean, you know, let her think she’s with somebody decent, you know? … I do have sex sometimes on the show, and there’s a rule that I have to be on my back. Terry Gross: Why, because your stomach flattens? Louis C.K.: Well, no, God, no. I’m not laying back in that bed thinking, “I look awesome right now.” It’s because I think I should always be the victim of the sex. I don’t think anyone wants to see me looming over her. I think that’s an upsetting image. And then also, the mother-dog stomach that I get when I’m … you get the point.Terry Gross got the point, and then she got the boot from Mississippi.