Digital Life

Steal a Car, Tune In to NPR

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In the new video game Grand Theft Auto IV, right after you've hijacked a car, you can turn on the car radio and pick from a variety of stations — one of which might sound familiar to public radio listeners.

(Soundbite of "Grand Theft Auto IV" radio station)

FRANCOIS K (Radio Host, "Grand Theft Auto"): Liberty City, this is the world's greatest dance music, only on Electrochoc.


Radio is one of the signatures of the "Grand Theft Auto" franchise. After you hijack a car, you can turn on the car radio and pick from a variety of stations.

(Soundbite of "Grand Theft Auto IV" radio station)

FEMI KUTI (Radio Host, "Grand Theft Auto"): This is Femi Kuti playing all about the Afrobeat and funk. Try to make your day out of sight, and especially, try to stay out of the sight of the police.

(Soundbite of song "Give the People What They Want")

THE O'JAYS: (Singing) You gotta give the people, give the people what they want.

BLOCK: After funk or jazz or dance music or something else that sounds - well, we think it sounds a little familiar?

(Soundbite of "Grand Theft Auto IV" radio station)

Unidentified Man #1: Preaching to the choir. It's Public Liberty Radio.


Well, if you think we're flattered - it's kind of a hard for me to imagine, Melissa, a couple of guys stealing a car and instantly tuning into "Fresh Air with Terry Gross."

BLOCK: You'll never know. Maybe they're highly educated car stealers. I don't think I'd be listening to public radio. What about you, Robert?

SIEGEL: I don't know. I could listen to some Vivaldi while we're still at it.

BLOCK: Vivaldi?


BLOCK: Springsteen. Springsteen has a song "Stolen Car." I think I'd have Springsteen on.

SIEGEL: Maybe this is for the people who steal the Volvos and the Priuses?

(Soundbite of "Grand Theft Auto" radio station)

Unidentified Man #1: You're on Liberty City's only public radio station rolling you to sleep with the liberal soft (unintelligible). PLR, Public Liberty Radio.

BLOCK: "Grand Theft Auto" also includes television which shows a familiar sounding news station.

(Soundbite of "Grand Theft Auto" television show)

Unidentified Man #2: At Weasel chopper four. If someone's in trouble or on fire, the Weasel News chopper is there on top of the action.

Unidentified Man #3: Sir, you there on fire? Could you please look (unintelligible)?

SIEGEL: That is Weasel News. A weasel - a small furry animal - is a conservative station. Maybe it's a furring imbalance.

BLOCK: Furry imbalance, that's their motto.

(Soundbite of "Grand Theft Auto" television show)

Unidentified Man: We call it news, your team for the war on terror, the weather, and sports. Weasel News.

BLOCK: This is still NPR, National Public Radio.

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