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July 28, 2003

Lydon online

In the middle-late 90s I would sometimes listen to a radio show called The Connection. At the time I remember thinking, this is too good.

The topics were thoughtful and provocative. The guests were world class. The callers, everyday people, were just as sharp and, in their own ways, just as world class as the guests.

More than anything else, host Christopher Lydon made The Connection extraordinary. It's hard to put one's finger on how exactly. But something Chris wrote in a recent weblog post helps to explain. He disclaims in this first weblog-themed interview, "I think of myself as a journalist and all-purpose searcher, not at all a techie." It is probably that searcher characteristic that appealed to so many of us. We could hear the wonder and impatience in his voice. We participated in it. We sought and discovered and learned and made connections together.

The Connection's pace was incredible at ten new episodes per week. I always felt little guilty that I didn't have the time to take in every episode. This is too good to last.

It was too good to last, as it turned out. A few years ago The Connection's creators had a falling out with management and parted ways.

The good news is that Chris Lydon & co. have continued to do what they do so well, with the results often appearing on line. Here are a few pointers to recent activity:

Weblog-hosted interviews: http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/lydon/

The Whole Wide World: http://world.law.harvard.edu/shows.html

Archived broadcasts from 2001: http://world.law.harvard.edu/chrislydon.html

Posted by Andrew Grumet at July 28, 2003 01:09 PM | TrackBack | Cosmos


Thank you, Andrew, from the bottom of my hungry little searching heart. Strange thing, I had to be reminded by Dave Winer that you are the Andrew I see and admire every Thursday evening. You said precisely what equally astonished us about the old--we call it the Real--Connection. Somebody said: "you treat the guests like callers, and the callers like guests." Somebody else said: "we hear a lot of the same folks on your show that we hear elsewhere. The difference is that the premise on the other shows is that we unwashed listeners are so lucky to hear their guests. The premise on your show is that your guests are so lucky to meet us!" You almost give away the secret of the "special sauce" when you talk about the searching. Strangely, I didn't really know what sort of searcher I was until the Connection got rolling. And then one day at Symphony Hall, a young usher came up to me a little furtively and said: "Chris... I'm a searcher too." Thanks so much, Andrew.

Posted by: Chris Lydon at July 29, 2003 12:48 PM
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