Parody newspaper completes descent into self-parody

I've noticed a miniature This American Life backlash lately, prompted by the launch of the TV show (which I haven't seen, because like the rest of the American people I do not get Showtime). As someone who still likes the radio version of TAL (or, more accurately, as someone who recently started listening to it again because they've begun podcasting it), I think most of the criticism (I'm looking at you here, Virginia Heffernan) is kind of petty, ignoring the things that are excellent about the show to pick on its (real or perceived) flaws. Mickey Kaus, on the other hand, accurately points out that a recent episode's foray into political advocacy was kind of trite. (Incredibly, Kaus still doesn't have permalinks; go here and search for "Glass snobbery," which I assume is meant to be some kind of pun.) [Like your headlines are so great -- ed.]

But this, from the Onion, is so off-base it's kind of absurd: "This American Life Completes Documentation of Liberal, Upper-Middle-Class Existence." What the fuck are they talking about? From memory: an incredible episode about prison life, another about the evangelicals of Colorado Springs, a third about a U.S. military aircraft carrier during the war in Afghanistan. This American Life has given me a remarkable kind of fine-grained access to aspects of the American experience that are usually off-limits to liberal, upper-middle-class Americans like myself. (Listen to those episodes and see.) So, yay for TAL, and a rousing fuck you to the Onion.