Weeks after Hell Gate published a blistering and utterly unassailable critique of WNYC's daily on-air meditation segment, the network announced Friday afternoon that it would no longer subject listeners to 60 seconds of forced introspection on a daily basis.
"All of It" host Alison Stewart made the announcement that Friday's "Meditation Minute" aka "I Need a Minute" segment would be the last. After the final meditation, Stewart played a montage of guests and listeners professing their love for the segment, before noting that others did not appreciate it, including someone named "Ben from Westchester." (The identities of the voices praising "Meditation Minute" could not immediately be confirmed.)
"I still maintain 'I Need a Minute' was really useful to a lot of people for a long time," Stewart said on the air, before thanking director of listener services, Lorraine Mattox, for being a "voice of calm" throughout the two-plus-years of the segment's existence.
Reached by satellite phone on her 60-foot fishing vessel, Muckraker II, Hell Gate co-publisher Esther Wang was gracious in victory.
"I am pleased that Alison Stewart heard my cry for help and, likely aided by the clarity of thought and mind provided by a regular meditation practice, made the correct but surely sad decision to end 'I Need a Minute,'" Wang said. "I look forward to no longer having to sprint to my speaker to turn the radio off whenever I hear that gong."
Hell Gate pledges to its subscribers that it will not let this newly acquired, stunningly awesome power go to its head, though it is a kind of overwhelming responsibility, being able to raise and topple media empires with a single blog post...we could perhaps really benefit from taking a moment out of our day to think without thoughts, ponder without distraction, feel our hearts beat, inhale, exhale...