In my Morning Edition years, I went to a different NPR member station each month for some sort of fund-raising activity. It was good politics to help the stations, but I had other reasons for going. Telling people about Morning Edition was good marketing. It also allowed me to meet the audience that brought me into their homes, cars, and offices—and it was useful to find out what was on their minds.
The public radio audience is intelligent. Who but an intelligent, concerned person is going to bother listening to a two-hour program that’s serious about the news? So I always expected that when I opened the floor to questions, someone would ask me about monetary policy and the Federal Reserve Board. Fortunately, that never happened. Instead, my listeners wanted to know anything I could tell them about our Rome-based correspondent Sylvia Poggioli, or they’d ask, “What time do you have to get up in the morning?”
My alarm buzzed at 1:00 AM. I kept the alarm on the other side of the bedroom so that I couldn’t reach it from my bed. If it were within reach, I might have turned it off without opening my eyes. Having the clock across the room forced me to get out of bed, put my feet on the floor, and walk several steps to reach the clock and silence that sucker! By then I’d be awake, sort of.
Clocks can fool you. Once, I woke up, looked at the digital clock, and thought it read 1:00. If I had read all the digits, I’d have seen that