On Saturday, Deepak Chopra was on NPR’s news quiz show, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me. I love Wait Wait. So if you can persuade me that I’m suffering from a hypersensitive hermeneutic of suspicion, you will make me feel better. But right now, I’m feeling squirmy about their interview with Deepak Chopra. Chopra was a good sport, self-deprecating–except at certain moments when he tried to seriously propound doctrines that the host, panelists, and studio audience found literally laughable (like “the material world doesn’t actually exist”). Compared to other interviews they’ve done, this one felt to me a bit closer to mean-spirited. Let’s get the crazy New Age guru on and have a laugh. I didn’t sense much effort to shift into the mode of, “But laughs aside, let’s talk now about what’s serious about your work.” They seemed to have a harder time striking that pose with this particular guest. Is that surprising, given that this is an audience of “NPR listeners”?
Listen to the segment if you missed it: