It appears that the NYTBR podcast has shifted to a kinder, gentler opening tune — which is to say opening music that as safe as elevator music (but certainly not houses). And Tanenhaus is now trying harder to sound warmer than he has in the past. One can only imagine the memos that were disseminated. I commend Tanenhaus for attempting to access that lovely portion of the human spectrum that exists beyond the walls of the New York Times building. But Tanenhaus has all the believability of Tor Johnson in Plan 9 from Outer Space. All the media training in the world won’t do anything to change a man who has all the charisma of a bitter accountant in early April. This podcast, predicated on the We Take No Chances model of corporate complacency, really needs to be abandoned or taken over by someone who still has a shred of genuine ebullience about literature.
© 2007, Edward Champion. All rights reserved.