BROOKE GLADSTONE: This is On the Media. I'm Brooke Gladstone. BOB GARFIELD: And I'm Bob Garfield. The stereotype of journalists makes us all seem like electrons - lightweight, inherently negative and easily spun. Ridiculous! Some of us are quite heavyset. The negativity thing, though, is pretty much dead on. We are, as a group, by definition, in the misery business - war, poverty, crime, corruption, natural disaster, the Spears family. Wherever something goes horribly awry, we show up in force. Two wrongs don't make a right, but they make a fabulous front page.
Enter then Eric Weiner. For two decades NPR's most accurately-named correspondent has crossed the globe for stories that will ruin your breakfast. He doesn't himself create misery, but he's a carrier. And this began to get to him. He'd become so used to documenting unhappiness that he feared for his own.
So he packed his bags and off he went, to Switzerland and Bhutan, Iceland and Thailand, India and Miami Beach, not in search of misery but of happiness. The resulting book, titled The Geography of Bliss, is out next month and [LAUGHS] it is charming and wonderful but, more to the point, proof positive that there is more to journalism than body counts.
We couldn't invite Eric to the program, although we've never met him, because he's out hustling a book, and God forbid he get a plug on more than one NPR weekend show. By comparison, Yahoo's Kevin Sites traveled to war zones in 20 countries, and we had him on - twice.