NPR Skips Over Publicity for Conservative Authors, But Makes Time for a Dominatrix

Conservative authors rarely get interviewed on National Public Radio. (For example, there was no air time for Mark Levin's best-seller Liberty and Tyranny.) When they do, it can be like Bill O'Reilly's sour and hostile experience with Fresh Air interviewer Terry Gross. On Monday, Gross provided a much kinder 35-minute forum for someone apparently more respectable and noteworthy than conservative writers:

Melissa Febos' new memoir, Whip Smart, details the four years she spent working as a dominatrix. Febos enacted fantasy sequences, spanked grown men and verbally humiliated them for $75 an hour in a dungeon located somewhere in midtown Manhattan.

Febos, who writes that she got started in sex work to pay for a drug habit, tells Terry Gross that working in a dungeon felt like "being in a womb."

Gross did twice suggest to listeners that sado-masochism wasn't a topic for the children, but it's a little odd that "non-commercial" radio would descend to such a tabloidish topic of kinky sex fantasies.

Of course, NPR surely finds this a refreshing way of establishing that the taxpayer-subsidized airwaves are a great place for casting off the chains of sexual reticence. It doesn't hurt that Gross could boast:  "It may be the first dominatrix memoir that mentions growing up listening to NPR."

Gross never suggested any moral qualms with either the dungeons or the drug use. She merely commented: "Don't you think, in a way, that the heroin deadens you enough to do the work of dominatrix? That it might've been more difficult had all your senses really been alert and not dulled or changed by heroin?"

Febos agreed, and said it was much harder work once she broke free of her addiction. 

The media tendency to avoid conservative authors was exposed last year in a study by MRC's Culture and Media Institute titled Unmentionable: Best-Selling Conservative Books and the Networks That Ignore Them. CMI's Matt Philbin and Zoe Ortiz found the TV networks completely avoided Levin's number-one bestseller.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis