Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Open Thread - Tuesday

NPR related comments welcomed.


Willie said...

This morning (Wednesday), Stevie and Juanie discussed Chavez's "takeover" of oil production from American companies. Reading just a bit between the lines reveals the imperialistic arrogance of NPR's mindset. Never, ever, for starters, would they think to use the words "take back" instead of "takeover."

The big question in the story, of course, was how this move might affect oil prices in the U.S.--the rest is just a curiosity of sorts, an amusing little show somewhere down south of us.

American companies, we're told, were "lured" there by the promise of cheap access to oil. Those poor, innocent, and so much more efficient oil companies! When Stevie asked if Chavez was doing this to "shore up his power in the region," Juan did say that Chavez "sees" his increasing power as the building up of a "bulwark" against American imperialism. But Juanie had already undercut this information by saying earlier that Chavez is mad at the U.S. because, "he claims," it tried to overthrow him. Left hanging are the questions of whether that's true, and if so, why the U.S. would do such a thing--since Chavez comes across as a power-hungry dictator in this piece, the implication is that if the U.S. did do such a thing, or were to do it in the future, it would be getting rid of another Saddam.

So yes, NPR does go a step further than most MSM by mentioning imperialism here, but it undercuts any credibility that characterization might have by seeing Chavez as power-hungry, and by imputing his motives to a suspect claim that the U.S. has tried to unseat him. Juanie also did mention Chavez's social programs and his efforts to help the poor, but within the framework established by Juanie and Stevie's skepticism, this countervailing truth was also rendered suspect.

The hope for change represented by Chavez really gets stifled by a certain airlessness at NPR. Just think how much more alive you could be, Stevie and Juanie, and how much more fully you could mature, if you'd just open NPR's battened-down hatches, to breath in the rich, revivifying atmosphere of truth.

Porter Melmoth said...

Yes indeed, one of NPR's missions is to educate we 'thinking' listeners about Chavez and his kind. Willie, you mentioned airlessness at NPR. As far as truth in stories like the one on Chavez, the atmosphere is indeed stifling. However, quite a bit of artificial hot air seems to be generated by the cartoonish feature stories which are infiltrating ME more than usual, it seems. In particular, I'm talking about this awesome new 'series' on global warming/climate change (NPR can't seem to commit to the proper term), which the fashion-conscious Renee presents to us, having made the super-important trip (on our nickel) to Greenwich in order to stand right on the Prime Meridian marker. All this just to farm out subsequent stories to hacks who are lower on the totem pole. Then they really go wild with the gimmicky sound bytes, making the segment indistinguishable from a PBS kids show on animals, like 'Zoboomafu'. It's all very ADD in its tone, not to mention silly. I'm sure it will accomplish a lot in our understanding of global warming - if NPR, in all its wisdom, decides that it actually exists!

And in another ME segment recently, Susan Stamberg brayed on about how awful the La Defense district in Paris is, and how a new building by an American architect is about to transform it into something better. She obviously knows nothing about the place, and isn't interested, and it shows. Well, I've been there a number of times, and, for a modern (corporate/civic) environment, it's one of the more interesting ones to be found. Plus, they wisely sited it outside of Paris, so as not to wreck the core city. And as far as the new 'American' building is concerned, it will fit in to the already adventurous group of buildings which have been gathering there for several decades now. Reports like this are not only myopic on NPR's part, they exhibit an inexcusable stupidity.

Kevan Smith said...

I didn't realize how conservative and misinformed Ted Koppel is until I heard his commentary today on ATC. Here's a doozie from it: since Iraq is of such vital interest to the U.S., Democrats should be publicly praying for Bush's success.

I shit you not.

Anonymous said...

wow, anyone else offended by the childish/infantilizing piece on carbon and global warming tonight? (on ATC)

I felt I'd regressed to grade-school and playtime.

Porter Melmoth said...

The ding-dong school approach to global warming continues in today's ATC, when Bob Krulwich takes our infantile hands and guides us through the squaredancing carbon atoms and witty soundbytes and the 'clever' over-produced blah, blah, blah which follows...
The projected mission? Perhaps to disempower Al Gore's impact.
The audience? Perhaps the kids and grandkids of aging baby boomers, because, heck, future audiences should be snagged NOW. Hey kids! Educational radio can be FUN! At the end of the segment, Missy Melissa asks for feedback, but delivers the stern warning: 'Remember, we're looking for questions, not opinions...'

Mytwords said...

Yes, the carbon piece was about as stupid as you can get...and on a day when the news of the Arctic Ice was so depressing.