NPR FOR THE DEF: Terry Gross Q&A

terrygrosssimpsonavatar.jpgSEATTLE TIMES: To the extent that National Public Radio has its superstars, Terry Gross, host and co-executive producer of the interview program “Fresh Air,” is certainly one of them. Heard Monday through Friday on KPLU-FM — which is hosting Gross’ appearance tonight at the Paramount Theatre — “Fresh Air” is noteworthy for Gross’ thoughtful and penetrating questions of artists, politicians, journalists and activists.

Q: One of the appealing things about “Fresh Air” is that you don’t just listen to your guests. You listen deeply.

A: People think listening is easy. Listening is hard. It’s easy to be distracted by a headache, or worries over a family member who’s ill. You have to not allow yourself to be distracted. That’s why the studio is a perfect setting. It’s a place unto itself, cut off from the rest of the world. Nothing happens in there except listening, reading between the lines of an answer to get at what a speaker is really thinking. Not every answer is worthy of a follow-up, but you’d better listen or you might miss the most important thing being said. MORE

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