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'Fresh Air' Critic Ken Tucker: Loving and Hating TV

Detail from the cover of Ken Tucker's <i>Kissing Bill O Reilly, Roasting Miss Piggy: 100 Things to Love and Hate About TV</i>.
Detail from the cover of Ken Tucker's Kissing Bill O Reilly, Roasting Miss Piggy: 100 Things to Love and Hate About TV.

Ken Tucker's new book is Kissing Bill O'Reilly, Roasting Miss Piggy: 100 Things to Love and Hate About TV. Aside from his duties as a music and at-large critic for Fresh Air, Tucker is the film critic for New York magazine.

His new book touches on TV mainstays, from James Garner to Pamela Anderson and David Brinkley. While special attention is paid to Heather Locklear, Bill O'Reilly also comes in for inspection. Among Tucker's pans in the world of television culture, the list is long: The Sopranos, Bob Newhart -- even Star Trek.

Until late last year, Ken Tucker was also the television critic for Entertainment Weekly. He has been awarded two National Magazine Awards and two ASCAP-Deems Taylor Awards for his criticism.

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Combine an intelligent interviewer with a roster of guests that, according to the Chicago Tribune, would be prized by any talk-show host, and you're bound to get an interesting conversation. Fresh Air interviews, though, are in a category by themselves, distinguished by the unique approach of host and executive producer Terry Gross. "A remarkable blend of empathy and warmth, genuine curiosity and sharp intelligence," says the San Francisco Chronicle.