Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Open Thread - Thursday

NPR related comments welcomed.


bo said...

Hey! May this site prosper and bloom into a "Newshounds" for NPR. I'll be pleased to stop in with my gripe of the day.

Their piece on the alleged sex abuse at a church in Arkansas today was a fine example of the on-going Foxification of NPR. The "lurid content" tease before the topic is announced, the upclose-and-personal interviews with the main characters. Lasted as long as the interview with "grandpa", the "pastor". Should have shut it off a hell of a lot sooner.

Oh, and another thing, I really hate the journalistic conceit of the "wise Socratic anchor", not that it's limited to NPR. Segal has enough gravitas to carry it off, Montaingne sounds like she's doing girltalk in the Starbucks. Regardless, I don't like the schitck, because it's so scripted and half the time the anchor is an ignoramous on the subject, and the reporter is hardly any better.

willie mink said...

I agree with bo that the tone of NPR is grating. So urbane, yet hip. Yet not TOO hip, because after all, we've all got money in our pockets, right? and property to protect, so we're really all conservative at heart--it's just not hip to admit that. And we'd certainly never challenge authority all that harshly, we must respect the office and all, no matter how scurrilous the bastards who squat in those offices, no matter how self-serving and rapacious their policies.

NPR's basic framework and tone is also very, very white. Very middle-class white. If there's a reporter on with a recognizably ethnic or racially other name, any distinctiveness that voice might have once had has been sanded down to a mere, decorative trace.

Anything "too" racially distinctive is segregated out to the margins, e.g., the Tavis Smiley show. Meanwhile, the presumptive whiteness of "regular" NPR programming goes unmarked as such, passing itself off instead as a universal norm.

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