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A bolo tie? Over a t-shirt? With a trilby?
May 9, 2014 2:51 PM   Subscribe

What is Nina Totenberg wearing? The Wall Street Journal profiles some unusual style icons: the hosts and staff of National Public Radio.
posted by Diablevert (61 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
A little thin, but fun.
Just don't wade into the very-predictable-when-NPR-is-the-topic comments.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:02 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


TW: This may destroy your entire sense of peace and rightness in the world as it turns out the voices on the radio come from actual people and it is disconcerting.
posted by Lutoslawski at 3:03 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


I always loved that her name could mean "Death Mountain" in German. So metal.
posted by Sangermaine at 3:04 PM on May 9 [14 favorites]


Also Nina Tontenberg could not look any more NPR if she were wearing a coat made of Carl Kasell's fur.

Bob Boilen I really like you but whyyyyyy fedora whyyyyy. Please go talk to Guy Raz for hipster fashion advice.
posted by Lutoslawski at 3:05 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


What is Nina Totenberg wearing?? Find out by downloading this steamy recording of NPR phone sex calls obtained by TMZ!
posted by mudpuppie at 3:05 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Gene Denby is handsome as hell.

That's all I've got.
posted by Lemmy Caution at 3:10 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Vaguely related mini-rant: I am having trouble grokking how it is that people in general but especially MeFites are so willing to pass blind judgment on someone for their choice of headwear. I know the reasoning behind the comments, I just have trouble understanding how people I otherwise would not figure for the type to make such broad characterizations on so little information would do so. I have for most of my life not given much of a shit about what people think of what I wear. A habit I came to dealing with a lifetime of body shaming and ostricization for being obese. Though several years back I experienced a significant weight shift towards the leaner as the result of several medical conditions. Before that however, I would not take the time to care what people thought about what was on my body if people we immediately hating the body itself. Since Junior High, if I was wearing a hat it was likely a fedora. I like hats, but hate baseball caps, trucker hats, etc. So for several reasons, I chose to go with the fedora as my go-to head wear of choice. A wide brimmed, brown style not unlike the type Indiana Jones wears. Over time I introduced a number of other caps to my repetoir, pork pie, cowboy, bowler, derby, jughead, etcetera. With people now seeing me no longer as a worthless, disgustingly obese piece of human garbage I suddenly started noticing what people what say about what I wore. And after so much hate I had seen towards fedoras from people I ordinarily would not expect to be making relatively blind character and value judgments, I retired fedoras. And even if it gets me less deirision from strangers, I feel like I have given in in some manner. As though I have let the world dictate something about me that I never did previously, and that is almost more shaming then the snickering of would be fashionistas on the bus.
posted by mediocre at 3:10 PM on May 9 [17 favorites]


about Scott Simon:

At one point, Mr. Simon's colleagues tried to establish casual Fridays—something he didn't like, but tried to participate in to show team spirit. On one such day, Mr. Simon wore a shirt that happened to have the former dictator of the Democratic Republic of Congo on it. "I realized that was a terrible mistake," he said. "I was walking into a cab line to get a cab home, and some of the drivers began to shout at me."


As bwinsburn said in mefi chat, 'that might be the best parody of White Male Privilege I've ever read'.
posted by fizzix at 3:11 PM on May 9 [12 favorites]


No photos of Terry Gross of Fresh Air so luckily I don't have to punch through my monitor to relieve my burning hatred of the worst radio interviewer in the universe.
posted by GuyZero at 3:12 PM on May 9 [10 favorites]


Oh, who cares. Why is she the only NPR voice that covers the Supremes? I cringe and change the station whenever I realize that, once again, I'm listening to her sing-song voice describing the day's court cases like she's reading the script of a play.

And don't bring Scott Simon into this, I don't like him either. Terry Gross, however, can do no wrong.

posted by Rash at 3:14 PM on May 9


Find out by downloading this steamy recording of NPR phone sex calls obtained by TMZ!

Today on All Things Considered In Bed we talk with Ima Why T, who claims to have had missionary style sex about 2 or 3 times a week, for nearly 15 years.
posted by Lutoslawski at 3:16 PM on May 9


Nina Totenberg definitely does not look like how I pictured her. I love her reporting and her voice. Found this interesting self-bio online.

So. I care.
posted by Roger Dodger at 3:16 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Needs more Linda Holmes.
posted by asterix at 3:26 PM on May 9 [12 favorites]


people I otherwise would not figure for the type to make such broad characterizations on so little

Really?
posted by jpe at 3:27 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


I am having trouble grokking how it is that people in general but especially MeFites are so willing to pass blind judgment on someone for their choice of headwear

Because headwear is fashion just like any other article of clothing, and what you wear labels you, for better or worse. It's not the fedora per se, not fedora qua fedora, it's the culture that adopted it in recent years. People judge you by your clothes. It's not great but there it is. You wear a fedora, you wear a suit, you wear an Iron Maiden t-shirt, you wear skinny jeans, you wear a cowboy hat and boots, you wear a cape - people make assumptions about your extra-clothing qualities as well. Not a great thing maybe but definitely A Thing.
posted by Lutoslawski at 3:29 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Terry Gross' interview of Gene Simmons is quite possibly the funniest thing ever to make electrons dance in copper wires.

A dawning awareness that there must be much ganging agley in Mr. Simmon's cerebral cortex may have been all that saved me from a ruptured diaphragm.
posted by jamjam at 3:29 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


TW: This may destroy your entire sense of peace and rightness in the world as it turns out the voices on the radio come from actual people and it is disconcerting.

These are just actors. The real hosts are noncorporeal voices, like those energy beings on Star Trek.
posted by cosmic.osmo at 3:29 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


Is it just me, or does Audie Cornish's dress look a bit...frilly-apron-ish? Not terrible or anything, just a bit odd.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:34 PM on May 9


These are just actors. The real hosts are noncorporeal voices, like those energy beings on Star Trek.

When I was in grad school, Robert Seigel gave a talk to a class I was in. It is extremely disconcerting to try and talk to someone and every time they reply you hear The Radio Voice. If you're not looking directly at them it's fine, but if you are you feel a bit like a drunk squinting himself cross eyed to try and bring his double-vision into alignment. The audio-visual equivalent of that.
posted by Diablevert at 3:35 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


People judge you by your clothes. It's not great but there it is. You wear a fedora, you wear a suit, you wear an Iron Maiden t-shirt, you wear skinny jeans, you wear a cowboy hat and boots, you wear a cape - people make assumptions about your extra-clothing qualities as well. Not a great thing maybe but definitely A Thing.

It's a "thing" to be sure, but by and large a "thing" Mefites see as wrong and narrow-minded in most contexts, while reserving narrow bands where they can let bizarrely judgmental prejudices run riot.
posted by yoink at 3:37 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


I assume they had warning about the shoot and got primped for it, right? They don't normally come to work quite this soignee, do they (Hermes pocket square, Hermes tie, Cordings of Piccadilly sport coat etc.)? I'd have thought one of the advantages of working in radio was that you could show up in pretty much any old thing.
posted by yoink at 3:40 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Most of them actually look like that. Except the hat. I've never seen Michel Martin in a hat before. (Bob Boilen wears the fedora all the time.)

When I saw Guy in converses I audibly sighed.
posted by tooloudinhere at 3:40 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


It's a "thing" to be sure, but by and large a "thing" Mefites see as wrong and narrow-minded in most contexts

I think it's actually kind of interesting because Metafilter does try hard not to be judgey about many aspects of a person generally, save clothing. I mean, every thread where someone is wearing skinny jeans and has a mustache will get the stfu hipster chanting, the fedoras get the fedora treatment, etc.

But this doesn't feel so much Metafilter specific as much as something indicative of the world at large. I mean even this article, each of these people is asked about their clothing and they answer in sort of a "why I made these choices" way. And I think that's part of why we as a community and culture more broadly are more willing to judge clothing choices, or at least more morally accepting of it, than say passing judgment on body type or whatever, because there is a sense in which we have a great deal of control over what we put on ourselves and that we wield this control to say something about how we see ourselves and our place in the world. We judge people's clothing choices because we believe it says something about the choices they make more generally - and there is some truth in that for sure.

There's a reason for military dress codes, school uniforms, business attire - it removes one aspect of expression to be judged from any situation, so that there is a greater degree of possible meritocracy or whatever.
posted by Lutoslawski at 3:48 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


No Sylvia Poggioli? I AM DISAPPOINT.
posted by Dr. Zira at 3:48 PM on May 9 [8 favorites]


I mean like you wouldn't wear a yellow onesie to a funeral (probably). Clothes have cultural meaning, unfortunately. Some more nuanced and/or unfortunate than others, but so it goes.
posted by Lutoslawski at 4:05 PM on May 9


Does anyone else find it jarring to see Radio Names in print? I didn't realize that I had imagined fanciful spellings for Stevinski (Steve Inskeep), Robert Seagull (Siegel) and Carl Castle (Kasell) but their actual names sure look weird.
posted by zeptoweasel at 4:06 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


No Sylvia Poggioli? I AM DISAPPOINT.

I think photographing her would have significantly upped the travel budget for the shoot.
posted by yoink at 4:07 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Mr. Simon wore a shirt that happened to have the former dictator of the Democratic Republic of Congo on it.

Uh, how and why does one get a t-shirt with Mobutu on it? Was this a "thing"? Was it a parody of those Che shirts or something?
posted by Hoopo at 4:11 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


And no Eleanor Beardsley!
posted by Lutoslawski at 4:11 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


I'm always shocked how everyone on NPR looks EXACTLY Like how they sound. I feel like I can hear Terry Gross' haircut.
posted by The Whelk at 4:11 PM on May 9 [11 favorites]


They need to do a sequel with the correspondents, so they can include Philip Reeves and Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, in addition to Sylvia Poggioli and Elearnor Beardsley.
posted by mogget at 4:16 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Does anyone else find it jarring to see Radio Names in print? I didn't realize that I had imagined fanciful spellings for Stevinski (Steve Inskeep), Robert Seagull (Siegel) and Carl Castle (Kasell) but their actual names sure look weird.

The mellifluousness of NPR names is beloved of listeners everywhere, possible to the point of fetishisation.
posted by Diablevert at 4:16 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Hoopo: "Uh, how and why does one get a t-shirt with Mobutu on it? Was this a "thing"? Was it a parody of those Che shirts or something?"

Probably not a t-shirt, but a shirt made from a commemorative wax print fabric.
posted by ocherdraco at 4:17 PM on May 9


We judge people's clothing choices because we believe it says something about the choices they make more generally - and there is some truth in that for sure.

To a point. But enter a Metafilter thread about, say, a corporation's dress code and you're not going to find a lot of "oh, that's reasonable, that's just the image the company wants to project to the world." There'll be a lot more "everyone should be allowed to let their freak flag fly, baby!" Go to Ask Metafilter and find a thread where someone is being hassled by their boss, their lover, their friends about their clothing choices and the responses will be SUE!, QUIT!, DTMFA! etc. You should wear what speaks to you! There really is a pretty narrow band of sartorial choices where there is general community privilege to say "if you wear that you are a horrible person who is clearly morally inferior." And I really do think it's a hateful and small-minded attitude.

It's one of those classic "false positive" errors, really, like the "lots of terrorists are radical Muslims, therefore Muslims are all terrorists!" one. Sure, there may be an easily identified subgroup of genuinely unpleasant people who affect, say, the fedora. But that subgroup is a pretty small group of people and the fedora is a hat that has been around for over a century and had a lot of different meanings and associations placed on it. The odds that any given fedora wearer you happen to encounter is a ghastly dudebro, friendzone-resenting asshole is actually amazingly small--even if the odds that the ghastly dudebros you do meet happen to affect fedoras (or trilbies or what have you) are relatively high.
posted by yoink at 4:20 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Speaking of Sylvia Poggioli, why does NPR have a Italy correspondent but not a Canadian correspondent? It's not there aren't dozens of stringers in Toronto or Vancouver or anywhere who could handle a NPR beat with their eyes closed.

I mean, sure, I guess she does the rest of Europe too, whatever. Canada is still a bigger trading partner with the US.
posted by GuyZero at 4:36 PM on May 9


Well, I'd say the bigger news out of NPR today is the announcement of their new CEO.
posted by planetesimal at 4:36 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


We denizens of NPR West have the "People Dressed Like Each Other" series instead.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
posted by mykescipark at 4:45 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


I don't think wearing a fedora indicates that you're a bad person one bit, and there's no reason to believe that's what the guy who posted that thinks either. I just think that ninety-five times out of one hundred it is incredibly dorky and does not, you know, look good. And it seems to me that the usual reasons to choose a particular piece of clothing are for aesthetic value (see previous) to send a message or signal affiliation (in which case the fedora-wearer stereotypes *do* come into play whether you want them to or not) or for utilitarian reasons, so barring some unusual practical value of which I am not aware I would not recommend to a person to wear this variety of hat.
posted by atoxyl at 5:08 PM on May 9


Does anyone else find it jarring to see Radio Names in print?

Seeing the real spelling of David Bean-Cooley was actually kind of a relief.
posted by LionIndex at 5:19 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


A bolo tie?

i just wish that i could get away
with wearing a bolo tie, tibetan boots
and a stove pipe hat - especially the stove pipe hat
wish i could get away with that
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:22 PM on May 9


mudpuppie: What is Nina Totenberg wearing?? Find out by downloading this steamy recording of NPR phone sex calls obtained by TMZ!

I feel this is relevant here.
posted by jferg at 5:22 PM on May 9


I mean like you wouldn't wear a yellow onesie to a funeral (probably).

What if I am an infant? Or Lady Gaga? What if I am infant lady gaga.
posted by elizardbits at 5:38 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


describing the day's court cases like she's reading the script of a play

I like to picture Nina T. acting out SCOTUS's daily adventures with hand puppets.
posted by Flannery Culp at 5:40 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Scott Simon sounds older than he looks, but pretty close to how I imagined him.
posted by davebush at 5:46 PM on May 9


Needs way more Ofeibea Quist-Arcton. I am disappoint.
posted by nevercalm at 5:54 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


Speaking of Sylvia Poggioli, why does NPR have a Italy correspondent but not a Canadian correspondent?

Because she also handles the Vatican and most of Eastern Europe, including Greece and the Balkans. She's almost as busy as Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, who is perhaps the best radio news correspondent of all time - insightful, authoritative, and an absolute hoot to listen to. She also does her solid best not to make the anchors interviewing her to seem like idiots despite asking her idiot questions.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:11 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Speaking of Sylvia Poggioli, why does NPR have a Italy correspondent but not a Canadian correspondent?

Because they have Dan Karpenchuck.
posted by BrashTech at 6:26 PM on May 9


Wow I now know how to spell ophabiaqizartin. Which always translates in my head to ophabiaquizartinhaederach.

Still my favorite npr name.
posted by sio42 at 6:27 PM on May 9


this is a true multimedia feat: talking on the internet about photographs of radio personalities.
posted by Jon_Evil at 6:33 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


What if I am infant lady gaga.

DJ Infant Lady Gaga?

Where do I get tickets?
posted by Pudhoho at 6:34 PM on May 9


And a certain two brothers decided to provide their own photographic addition to the set....
posted by 1367 at 7:17 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


The headline led me to believe I would be seeing Nina Totenberg with a bolo tie, over a t-shirt, with a trilby.
posted by randomkeystrike at 7:31 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


little known fact: Eleanor Beardsley delivers her live reports completely nude.
posted by Auden at 8:05 PM on May 9


Anya Grundmann is the one wearing an outfit I like. What a cute dress.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:37 PM on May 9


What if I am an infant? Or Lady Gaga? What if I am infant lady gaga.

Dang it I get to nearly forty before anyone presents me with a good reason to want a child.
posted by winna at 8:43 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Ether NPR has become quite a bit more hip in the last ten years, or thee's a huge culture change betwen the Santa Barbara and San Francisco NPR stations. Santa Barbara had a staid, formal, boring radio culture, while on KQED? The reporters there actually make quips on air and play modern music between sets that humerously relate to the last subject.

The other day a reporter actually used the phrase "then the fail" on air. That sort of modern language use would would have caused a riot (albeit a slow, polite riot) among the Santa Barbara blue-hair set.
posted by happyroach at 11:23 PM on May 9


They need to do a sequel with the correspondents, so they can include Philip Reeves and Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, in addition to Sylvia Poggioli and Elearnor Beardsley.

It's harder to find than it used to be but if you wander around their About pages you can eventually dig up the bios pages, many/most of which have a head shot (though of course no mention of their favorite designers).

Reeves, Quist-Arcton, Poggoioli, Beardsley.
posted by aught at 8:22 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


Huh, Ofeibia Quist-Arcton has only officially been with NPR since 2004—I could have sworn it was much longer (perhaps I heard her earlier reports that were broadcast over NPR while she was still with the BBC).
posted by ocherdraco at 9:15 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


The only radio people who have looked the way I expect are Tom & Ray, the Car Talk guys. I'm always sorry when I look at pictures of people from radio, as of course I just did, because it spoils my mental image of them. Terry Gross is much tinier and spikier looking than her voice, and I liked my own version of her better.
posted by theora55 at 9:33 AM on May 10


My favorite part of the whole thing was Elise Hu's comment, "Nina Totenberg always comes correct."
posted by ChuraChura at 12:13 PM on May 10 [3 favorites]


I tried to find a previously, but maybe metafilter has never linked to these? Related:

How the NPR voices look (in my head)

How the NPR voices look (in my head) Part 2

These did the social media rounds a year or two back, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that the artist is an old high school acquaintance.

(it seems pretty clear that he had at least a minor notion of what some of these folks look like, but I still think they're great)
posted by deadbilly at 1:00 PM on May 10 [1 favorite]


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