Thursday, April 26, 2007

Raz and Slur Part 2: Playing Reporter

In my previous post "Raz and Slur" I noted how Guy Raz characterized the attendees at an antiwar speech as being "mostly aging hippies" and "draft dodgers."

Unlike Raz, I did a little work and contacted the organizers of the event in Richmond (see flyer here). Here's what Adria Scharf of the Richmond Peace Education Center had to say about Raz's reporting:
"To describe the audience as 'mostly aging hippies' is truly a mischaracterization. At least a quarter of those in attendance were college students and young people in their 20s. Another quarter to a third were members of the faith community whose churches had cosponsored Jonathan Hutto's visit, and the rest were community members, including African American community activists and members of the Richmond Peace Education Center among others."
In our community we've been holding regular Saturday curbside antiwar demonstrations since before the Iraq War began. Invariably some knucklehead passing by yells out of a car window, "Get a job!" It's always a bit amusing because it's a Saturday afternoon and because most of the 30-50 of us in attendance have full time jobs and a lot of us, frankly, look like middle-age, working Midwesterners. Clearly those who yell such things can only see us through the prism of their own warped preconceptions. It's amusing on the street, but when it comes out of the radio, it's disgraceful.


Green said...

So this of course includes the current administration, right? Oh, the irony.

Dano Bivins said...

I came across this site as a result of looking for information on Guy Raz. I'm a former NPR engineer and news editor/ announcer. I never really noticed Mr. Raz before, but I was listening to a report he did on Hamid Karzai and when I heard Raz say that at a meeting with U.S. officials in Kabul Karzai "uncharacteristically heaped praise on Iran and drooled all over Iran" or words to that effect I really took notice. This is not journalism, it's perception management. I heard a recording of what Karzai said, and Raz's interpretation is completely over the top. Since then I wanted to find out more about Mr. Raz. I really don't need a reporter telling me how I should view Iran.
I'm glad to see this site, and that others are noticing the troubling direction that NPR has been taking as of late. Mr. Raz isn't the only example of this, by far.