Garrison Keillor: The automobile has come a long way in my lifetime -- from the old Model T with the crank (CRANKING, MOTOR STARTS) that you drove at 15 miles an hour through the country (MODEL T HORN, CHICKENS SCURRYING) on bumpy dirt roads (MOTOR, WHOMP, BOMP, BOING) that threw your back out so you had to go to your chiropractor (CRUNCH), and go on bed rest for two weeks listening to the Victrola (SCRATCHY RAGTIME). The car of today has shock absorbers, so it rides smooth (SMOOTH ENGINE) and it has a cellphone so you can keep in touch with the world (CAR ENGINE UNDER Sue Scott: Hi. .. I'm on the freeway ... I'm going to the grocery, and then I'll pick up the kids, and then I'm going to my mother's ... How about you?) and you have a geographical positioning system (PING, PING, Tim Russell ELECTRONIC VOICE: Turn. Left. Now. ....You missed it. You. Idiot.). And of course you have a good car radio where you can find heavy metal (METAL MUSIC) and hip hop (HIP HOP) and heavy metal (METAL) and head banger music (BASS) and head-banger talk radio (TR: My friends, what is going on in Washington with this pitiful tiny minority of liberals who are standing in the feed trough and preventing ETC ETC) (SEARCHING THE DIAL, POP MUSIC), and you have hip hop (HIP HOP) and then you have public radio -- BIG GLISS -- a world of excitement and wonder (BIG BEETHOVEN CHORDS), a world of opera (TR TENOR) and poetry (SS: O Cool Modigliani women with American Express eyes and pituitaries like shotgun shells and I love driving in the grassy wind singing Boddhisatva Rimbaud pizza angel hair ecstasy.) and news from all over the world (TR FRENCH, GERMAN, ITALIAN, RUSSIAN, SWEDISH MELANGE) -- and Car Talk (TR: A Dodge Dart?? Did you say a Dodge Dart??? TWO GUYS SHRILL LAUGHTER) and all sorts of radio shows that are like having a good friend in the car with you. (SS: This is Terry Gross with Fresh Air -- My guest today is you, yes, you. We'll be talking with you about your new book. You haven't written a book? Well, you should!) And last week the U.S. House of Representatives voted to cut funding for public broadcasting. (LOSER HORN) Barney was crying. (TR BARNEY: This is it. I'm taking the gloves off.) The Cookie Monster was upset. (Fred Newman COOKIE MONSTER: That's it for you Congress. No more free trips) Not to mention Linda Wertheimer. (SS (LINDA): No more mugs or tote bags, either.) And a few days ago, after a public uproar, Congress voted not to cut the funding after all. Congress realized that when your approval rating is sitting around 19%, you should be careful. Louis the 16th's approval ratings were 26% and remember what happened to him (GUILLLOTINE)

Public radio. It makes the world a little better. (CHOPIN PIANO) A message in the public interest.