Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Open Thread - Wednesday

NPR related comments welcomed.

16 comments:

larry said...

Tues on "Day to Day" was an abnoxious piece on Chief Justice Roberts. They even brought in someone from 'Slate', their well of mediocrity. Roberts was just this friendly, regular guy. The piece had all the depth of a 'Teen Seventeen' article, and was glaring in its lack of respect for the tradition of not developing personality cults around SC Justices. There was a gratuitous slam on how the nast anti-Viet Nam war protesters ruined everything for Roberts and Alito when they were in school, although I think Roberts was a little young then.
The local Philly station had a John Yoo book promotion interview; I didn't want to ruin my day so i listened elsewhere.

ryan s. said...

A recent report from Alternet's Antonia Juhasz about Bechtel's awful performance and final "cut and run" escape from Iraq unfortunately reminded me of the completely one-sided report about Bechtel in Iraq I heard on ATC about a week ago. This report featured only a softball interview with Cliff Mumm, Bechtel's President of Infrastructure & Iraq Program Manager, who reiterated how Bechtel's efforts were well worth American taxpayers' money as the company completed all but one deadly children's hospital project. Omitted from this report was that Bechtel received the $2.4 Billion Iraq reconstruction contracts months before the invasion and without any later consideration for Iraqi companies, and that Mumm revealed Bechtel's intention to bilk Iraq out of money long after the initial mission was accomplished. Also left out of course were any alternative views or even cooberating evidence that Bechtel successfully completed anything. This was especially disheartening since just a week prior to this report, the overworked Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) released its quarterly report which detailed the poor state of infrastructure reconstruction in the embattled country. Sure Bechtel "completed" the construction of numerous power stations, but left unimportant stuff like powerlines and transmission equipment to subcontractors before it took its money and ran, leaving most of Iraq with rolling blackouts and less than 11 hours of consistant power per day.

No counter points were offered to any of Mumm's statements. Its alarming that a show called "All Things Considered" would give such cursory consideration to an issue so indicitive of the state of reconstruction in Iraq.

(http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/44251/)
(http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6449811&ft=1&f=1001)
(http://www.sigir.mil/reports/quarterlyreports/Oct06/Default.aspx)

Porter Melmoth said...

Good points made on the Roberts and Bechtel stories. Just goes to show that NPR Check is the place to stop in order to get the whole story. I noticed that, in the intro to the Bechtel story, the premise was as gentle as it could be: that Bechtel had 'completed' its mission in Iraq, rather than the truth: that they got the hell out while the getting was good.

I think that one of the chief reasons that NPR has tilted towards the right (in addition to the strategically placed officials in league with the Bush Machine's agenda) is that their audience looks to NPR as part of their comfort factor. Demographics surely show that the highest numerical group of the listening audience are higher-educated Baby Boomers (even though gnarly Ned Wharton attempts to introduce Gen X and younger-type music in his trifling occasional showcase feature...), and they are no doubt predominantly middle class and white. (Yes folks, that's what I myself am, so it takes one to know one.) At any rate, my feeling is that, as Baby Boomers age, they are becoming more conservative, if only fiscally, as the anxiety of retirement and its risks loom. These people want security, if not for the nation, then certainly for their own interests. Many of these people, having witnessed the 60s, still consider themselves as 'liberal', while keeping a close eye on their investments. So to many, NPR is an attractive world-view. It 'seems' liberal, and that warms the cockles of one's heart, but really, I mean, let's be sensible here, what really matters is that the nation be made safe for one's investments to flow uninterrupted. So maybe it's OK to be sentimentally 'liberal', but one would be a fool if one continued to buck the truth: that there's gold in them there corporate hills. Because, that's what we all really want, isn't it? Thus, you can listen to NPR and 'feel' liberal, but at heart, the most sensible thing is to be - well, sensible. Those thinking talkers at NPR, like Mara and Andrea and Tom and Robert and Scott, well, they're speaking for us, aren't they? Our generation? If you can't trust NPR, who can you trust?

Mytwords said...

Thanks for the great posts. The Alternet link in the Bechtel comment was really helpful.

bluetaco said...

Great post, Porter! Right on target.

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