Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Finding Out Nothing

There are moments on NPR that reveal the beliefs and assumptions of the announcers and reporters delivering a story. This morning Renee Montagne reports about the doubts surrounding Bush's new "strategy" of escalation for Iraq. She says, "and in Baghdad a reporter told the US Ambassador, 'I just don’t see what has changed.' The US is adding more troops and focusing on security in Baghdad but it’s been tried that before." Not a bad start to a report, but...

Then Steve Inskeep says, "To find out what has changed we called the ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, and we asked him to define the American goal now." Hold it, stop, whoa! Talking to Khalilzad - Bush loyalist, Unocal frontman, and one of the original neocon architects of the Iraq War- is not going to help anyone "find out what has changed." Consider the ways Inskeep could have begun this interview:

Today we are going to get the perspective of US Ambassador in Iraq...
Now we will talk to Zalmay Khalilzad to hear his explanation of the President's plans...

Instead, as is often the case, instead of data, evidence, eyewitness testimonies, or investigation, NPR presents the statement of a powerful government official as if it were factual, legitimate information.

4 comments:

willie mink said...

Er, that first sentence is botched. How about, "There are moments on NPR that reveal the beliefs and assumptions HELD BY the announcers and reporters delivering a story"?

Yes, there are indeed many, many such moments on sorry ol, self-satisfied NPR.

Mytwords said...

Thanks...brain glitch.

bluetaco said...

Is Inskeep angling for Press Secretary in his fantasy McCain administration in '08?

Porter Melmoth said...

He certainly has what it takes.