I love This American Life. I am conservative and evangelical, so in theory, I have no business listening to NPR, but I love TAL. Week in and week out Ira Glass and company present compelling stories about extraordinary people. Obviously, it's important to listen critically and realize that every contributor brings a set of preconceived notions to every story. With that understanding in place, the show is a valuable storytelling tool.
TAL is a constant reminder that everyone has a story to tell. It could be for example that your neighbor was Noriega's pen pal when she was a schoolgirl in the '70s. It could be that the man sitting next to you on your last flight was originally from a small town on the coast of Alabama in which, once a year, thousands of fish and shrimp wash up on shore only to be collected by hungry townspeople armed with buckets. They call this bizarre event a "Jubilee".
Both examples are true and taken from TAL episodes. Everyone has a story. The storyteller's job is to find it.