Apr 25, 1997
Stories of when things go wrong. Really wrong. When you leave the normal realm of human error, fumble, mishap, and mistake and enter the territory of really huge breakdowns. Fiascos. Things go so awry that normal social order collapses. This week's show is a philosophical inquiry in the nature of fiascos — perhaps the first ever.
- Wisconsin Public Radio wanted to do something simple: start running Car Talk, the most popular single hour on public radio. But to do this, they had to move their local car show, About Cars, from the morning to the afternoon. The host of About Cars was so upset about this — and what he felt was mistreatment in the past — that he not only refused to move, he started a monthly newsletter about it and organized a public rally. Fifteen hundred people wrote angry letters; 126 swore they'd never give to Wisconsin Public Radio again. The State Legislature got involved. They conducted an audit, which took months. There were hearings. One definition of a fiasco is when something simple and small turns horribly large, and this event fits the bill. We hear from all aggrieved parties, including the Car Talk guys — Tom and Ray Maggliozi. (15 minutes)Song:
Illustration by Chris Ware