In the early days of podcasting, there was a sense of pride in the gritty amateur quality of it. It was just you, your mic, and the Internet. It was real. It wasn't polished and fake like the radio and TV announcers' teleprompted speeches. Like real conversation, you were talking with your listeners, not at them.
But because some of us were not schooled in announcer-speak, we sat in front of our microphones and stuttered, paused, and said "um" way too much. Sometimes coughing or sneezing would cause unpleasant spikes in the audio file. And we realized that cutting out these occasional gaffes made the podcast better to listen to.
The line separating the editing podcasters from the live podcasters is drawn definitely... in sand. Some podcasters feel that if they edited, they could not do their shows as frequently as they manage. Others want to keep the conversational feeling and think that editing will remove that from their show.
For the record, both of us edit our shows extensively, removing mistakes, slow parts, any and all bodily noises (no Senseo burps on our shows), and household interruptions such as dogs barking and phones ringing. We cover this topic in depth in Chapter 10, "The Great Editing Debate."