Two Mississippi

Fresh Air is back on in Mississippi, according to this post from Tom Taylor’s blog on

NPR’s “Fresh Air with Terry Gross” is reinstated by Mississippi Public Broadcasting, though the award-winning interview show will now air at 9pm instead of 3pm. Public radio monitor-pub Current says the Mississippi outfit “took a drubbing from angry listeners and snarky bloggers” before it ‘fessed up and conceded that the cancellation of the widely-distributed daytime talk show was triggered by Terry’s interview with comedian Louis C. K. — the one where he talked about why he keeps his shirt on when he has sex. Now, Mississippi Public Broadcasting executive director Judith Lewis has had “constructive conversations with ‘Fresh Air’ [produced at member station WHYY, Philadelphia] and we will now include notices saying that the program may include adult content.” That will put Mississippi Public Broadcasting on Terry’s list of famous furores, including Kiss frontman Gene Simmons getting famously rude and Bill O’Reilly walking off the show.

Meanwhile, on, Judith Lewis, executive director of the state-operated Mississippi Public Broadcasting TV and radio networks, is quoted in the post:

In her first year as MPB director, Lewis has received more complaints about Fresh Air than any other program, she said. “Most of the comments I’ve received have to do with the salaciousness of Ms. Gross. She talks a lot about sexual issues and the language she uses — a lot of people of Mississippi are not accustomed to hearing. They’re not accustomed to hearing word ‘orgasm’ on the air, and three o’clock in the afternoon is not the best time to air this.”

Lewis didn’t deny that MPB dropped the show in reaction to a complaint from someone who heard the broadcast through a state university telephone system while waiting on hold, as reported by a blogger for lefty MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, but she wouldn’t confirm the tale.

The show has been moved to 9 pm at night because of its “inappropriate content.” Reportedly, the offending remark was a quip by comedian Louis C. K. explaining that he wears a t-shirt when he has sex — to cover his middle-aged body. The station canceled the show within 24 hours of the interview.


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