Diane Rehm’s Slow & Warbling Voice

My Review: 2

Diane Rehm is the radio-program host of the “The Diane Rehm Show.” She hosts her program on WAMU through the American University in Washington D.C. The show is nationally syndicated on National Public Radio (NPR.)


I love NPR. But Diane Rehm is driving me frigging crazy. Everyone just gushes on and on about how wonderful she is: she’s articulate, educated, well-spoken, interesting, insightful, etc., etc. and blah blah blah.

The truth is she is maddeningly annoying because she talks…so…god…damned…slowly. It’s making me crazy. I frequently listen to NPR on Sirius Satellite radio, and they play her show constantly. 3 times a day I find her on the air.

Now, I know that she has a speech disorder. She has Spasmodic Dysphonia, a disease of the larynx which causes involuntary spasms of the muscles in the throat and larynx. This cannot be treated with speech therapy or vocal training. The most effective way to treat it is with Botox injections directly to the throat. And that sucks. The disorder caused her to take a break from broadcasting. My assumption is that she speaks so slowly as means of coping with her disorder.

That’s all well and good; I applaud her efforts and sympathize with her plight. I am very sorry for her and for other S.D. sufferers. I know full well that I sound like an insensitive prick. A real asshole. But the fact remains that she is driving me crazy. I can’t stand the sound of her slow, warbling chaotic voice. IT DRIVES ME NUTS.


So I give her stupid voice on her stupid program a stupid rating of 2. I don’t care how articulate or intelligent or sensitive she is. She is a radio personality, and that line of work depends on a solid, commanding mellifluous voice. Diane Rehm does not qualify.


11 comments so far

  1. Elizabeth on

    It drives me mad, too.

    She’s in her 70s and hosting a fast-paced debate show. It drives me mad. Regardless of her intelligence, it’s high time she retire.

  2. David on

    I know, it’s crazy, neh? I feel kind of like a jerk for saying it, but it is maddening. I have to immediately switch the station when she’s on. Unless there’s a guest host.

    Thanks for your comment.

  3. Jason on

    Thank you for your comments! I was thinking the very same thing when I happened to flip over to NPR today and heard Diane for the first time. Her disorder limits her to the point that it is detrimental to the show. You can’t focus on what’s being discussed because it’s so halting, and distracting. Very on-point. Ms. Rehm should definitely retire before she completely loses her voice, and can’t talk to her family.

  4. David on

    Hi Jason,

    It’s crazy, neh? I just can’t abide that show.

    Thanks so much for your comment.


  5. Drivesmebattytoo on

    I completely agree! I didn’t even know about the disorder but she sounds like she’s 103 years old and the slowness of it is enough to drive me insane. I am sorry Diane, I’m sure you are intelligent and articulate and talented BUT everytime I hear your voice I want to grab you by the throat, shake you, and scream “SPIT IT OUT ALREADY!” I have to change the channel and listen to crappy music instead of NPR because it makes me want to pull my hair out to listen.

  6. aphexddb on

    I have been thinking the same thing as her show also drives me nuts! There are so many times they have really interesting people on but her voice is so..very..slow.. (plus the warbling) that I have to switch stations to avoid going nuts. I really hope that she gets replaced by someone who can actually talk 😦

  7. Sue on

    Wow. It is so very sad that there is so much hatred posted in here. It is amazing that such ignorant people even know what NPR is.

  8. David on

    Hi Sue,

    Thank you for visiting and for leaving a comment. I’m sorry you felt that there was hatred and ignorance present on my blog. That’s never my intent. This is a review blog where I review whatever I feel like. I felt like reviewing Ms. Rehm’s voice and, and it scored poorly.

    I have no problem with you not agreeing with my opinion, and you certainly have the choice to never visit my site again. But I believe I’m entitled to express my opinion; you can see that I’ve even published your opinion as well. I just think your assertion of ignorance and hatred is ill-informed. I imagine Diane Rehm is a perfectly lovely woman, a woman of sensitivity, culture and vibrant intelligence. But her voice is terrible for radio.

    My opinion stands, your dislike notwithstanding.

  9. Jake on

    The only thing more annoying than Diane Rehm’s slow delivery is Daivd’s “neh?” What the heck is that?

  10. Mark on

    Totally agree. D.R. must have a lot of power at NPR to stay in that job for so long. IMHO any unique talents she may bring to the party are not nearly enough to overcome her off-putting voice.

    Is there a petition we can sign to get her off the air?

  11. George in Cincy on

    I beg to differ. You all are on the edge, petty, whatever.

    Listening to her today Aug 20, 2008 interviewing the Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae whatever CEO. She pulled no punches. She had the kahunas today for tough interviewing. I do not usually tune in but today’s interview convinced me to listen more.

    Talking fast can cause one to miss important details. She gives time for both listener and interviewee to gather their thoughts.

    Stop your whining you elitists!!!!!!!!!

    Conservatively yours,

    George in Cincy

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