Friday, October 20, 2006

Open Thread -- Friday

NPR related comments are welcomed.


Porter Melmoth said...

Just a comment: I've grown up with broadcasting in my family, so I guess I tend to critique not only content but style, (e.g. voices, talent, conduct, personality), and NPR kept me very busy with these 'critiques' like no other. It's a given that Fox etc. are rubbish, it's NPR that concerns us here. There was an old saying in commercial broadcasting that if you were on NPR, you couldn't make it anywhere else. In the past that might be interpreted as a compliment, as the assumption was that NPR was above commercialism and concentrated on critical thinking and analysis, as well as in-depth reporting. Anymore, though, the sell-out is obvious. perhaps, since they've come into the big money, the pay is much better. Certainly the organization is very pleased with itself, and it undoubtedly enjoys a significant prestige. Apparently, you can get an on-air job for life if you tow the line. Sometimes, though, the private sector practice of clearing the decks can have a purgative quality. Too bad more intuitive hosts like Bob Edwards were the ones who got massacred while other more crafty hacks got to stay on. I was sick of Robert Siegel's voice years ago, as well as the way he curls some words into fussy mutterings.
Of course, this blog wouldn't exist if the 'old' NPR were still in existence, thus the trenchant and perceptive discussions here.
I could rumble through how much personally bothers me about the performance of NPR's on-air personalities, but in light of the other, far more important issues discussed here, I'll give it a miss this time. Still, I might mention a few pet peeves in that department in future.

On another subject, I saw an interview with Sarah Chayes in which she spoke with careful frankness about her experience with doing a bogus story, manufactured by the Bush Machine and fed to her via NPR, who expected her to 'report' it. It is to her high credit that she told NPR, in effect, to shove it, and is now engaged in the real world in Afghanistan, making a much more important contribution that Renee Montagne's recent sore-throat tour of that continually-raped country.

In closing, this:
Having lived in the UK in the past for some length of time, I was an avid BBC listener. If NPR ever patterned itself on the Beeb, it was in theory only. The Beeb may have its faults, but I would not insult it by saying that NPR is 'America's version of BBC Radio.'

Mytwords said...

Thanks Melmoth. I don't think the issues of tone are irrelevant - just harder to pin down with evidence/analysis. Someone can always just say, "Oh, you're being paranoid; his/her tone wasn't smug, sarcastic, etc," but I think the tone is one of the most infuriating aspects of NPR these days.

Chase does deserve praise.

Alas the you say they are leagues beyond NPR, but I think their coverage has slipped since the attack on them orchestrated by Blair and the commission a few years back.


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