A few weeks ago, This American Life released yet another podcast repeat, this one from episode 168, “The Fix is In.” It’s about the whistleblower of the ADM price fixing scandal, and was originally aired in 2000.
As with many a TAL repeat, the staff will freshen things up with a few lines of new narration here and there. But because this episode is soooooo old, Ira’s original narration of 2000 stands out bright and clear from follow-on narration he did years later. It’s like night and day. For reference, check out the tape Ira plays at the 3:00 mark of this video. That same stuff is in parts of “The Fix is In.”
So, here is Ira Glass, one of the masters of the New Radio, showing how in 2000, when his show was the super-bright star of the NPR universe, he was narrating with a technique that he’d blow off today. Even when he was at his best, he was still interested in improving.