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.