NPR has apparently been deluged with hundreds of complaints from listeners, outraged that the organization’s flagship comedy program, Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! allowed Kim Kardashian to sully its pristine airwaves with her voice. Kardashian appeared on the June 13 broadcast of the program to promote her new photography book, Selfish, and to answer some irreverent trivia questions about Korean leader Kim Jong Un from guest host Mike Pesca. But listeners weren’t outraged by Kardashian’s mediocre performance on the quiz—or even Pesca’s awful and/or amazing description of the North Korean leader as someone who “dominates the TMZ on the other side of the DMZ”—but her very existence.
Writing on her blog, NPR ombudsman Elizabeth Jensen—whose job it is to filter and respond to the complaints of unhappy NPR listeners, in what sounds very like the textbook definition of Hell—shared some of the concerns people had raised. “Vapid, talentless, and shallow individuals who have not earned fame or fortune through an ounce of hard work have no place on a show of such caliber,” one listener wrote, with another adding, “I listen to NPR to get AWAY from Kardashian-like garbage.” A few even threatened to revoke their public radio pledges, or refuse to support the organization in the future.
Jensen handled the complaints with good humor, agreeing that Kardashian wasn’t “a great guest,” but praised her for her graciousness. (She didn’t add that Kardashian more than justified her appearance on the show by telling a story about how her husband, Kanye West, gets jealous every time their two-year-old daughter North gets a present, which may be the most beautifully Kanye West-y fact imaginable.)