So what was it like for Ira Glass, host and producer of NPR’s This American Life, to be interviewed by New York Press reporter Matt Elzweig for the latter’s piece about the allegedly sketchy interviewing technique of New York Times Magazine contributor Deborah Solomon?
“Honestly, my experience of it is, this guy calls me up out of the blue and says that he’s doing a profile of this woman,” said Mr. Glass, a still-boyish 48, sitting before a vanity mirror in a dressing room at the Town Hall theater on West 43rd St. on Monday, Oct. 8. He was signing a stack of posters, being passed to him by writers Chuck Klosterman, Susan Orlean and Malcolm Gladwell. All were about to take to the stage to discuss Mr. Glass’ new book, The New Kings of Nonfiction.
“She wrote questions that she didn’t ask me, and I don’t think you should do that in a newspaper,” Mr. Glass said of Ms. Solomon. “But truthfully, the things she says about me, it’s not a terrible inaccuracy, it’s a difference of tone. It made me look like I was kind of a brat towards the TV network,” he said, referring to his comment that Showtime, which picked up a televised version of This American Life, lacked buzz. “So if somebody with a TV show looks like a brat, it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. And I apologized to the network and they said, ‘Fine,’ and we have a good working relationship.”
And now, the Transom will painstakingly reproduce the final question it asked Mr. Glass: Any bad blood between him and Ms. Solomon? “I don’t know. I wasn’t out to pick a fight with The New York Times, a newspaper I read every day,” Mr. Glass said. “I would guess, if Deborah were to give her side of it, she thought I was a little bratty about the network. So she was just trying to capture that in the piece. But I know my own feelings about the network, and I don’t have bad feelings toward them. What she did seemed small. The part of it that seemed big was making up a question.”