To fans of This American Life, Ira Glass’ self-conscious conversational style marks him as something of a radio pioneer. But Glass says when he created This American Life back in 1995, he was merely looking to build upon what his colleagues in public radio already did really well: tell gripping stories about timely topics. What sets the show apart, according to Glass, is that he and the producers of TAL embrace entertainment as a virtue. And they’re not afraid to inject their own personal stories into the program.
Glass recently sat down with Slate’s Jacob Weisberg for a wide-ranging conversation about everything from what animates TAL to how his parents’ disdain for public radio helped shape the show.
You can watch Part 1 of our Glass interview, in which he discusses the art of the interview. In the second segment, Glass reflects on some of his favorite features of the show as it approaches its 500th episode. And in the days ahead, look out for one more excerpt about how podcasting is helping to reinvent his radio program.
TODAY IN SLATE
The World’s Politest Protesters
The Occupy Central demonstrators are courteous. That’s actually what makes them so dangerous.
The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans
How Did the Royals Win Despite Bunting So Many Times? Bunting Is a Terrible Strategy.
Federal Law Enforcement Has Declared War on Encryption
Justice and the FBI really do not like Apple’s and Google’s new privacy measures.
Homeland Is Good Again! For Now.
How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.
How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully
On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.