Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Open Thread

NPR related comments welcomed.

12 comments:

Porter Melmoth said...

Just some lightweight venting: I've said it before, but I can't stand Robt Seigel's voice and his piquant little enunciations. Problem is, he's so filled with self-love, he allowed his ding-dong producers to do this gimmicky sound byte compilation of show-offy oddball sounds gathered over the past year. It started off with a torrent of sickening Siegel utterances, oh-so-cleverly assembled in rat-a-tat style, the effect of which was supposed to be, in high NPR fashion, sophisticatedly funny. (Do listeners realize how easy the current audio softwares are to use?) Once it finally got going and Siegel's harpy drivel was left behind, like most NPR show-offy featurettes, this one was only mildly (very, very mildly) interesting (poor imitations of David Lynch-type sound effects, mainly) and it ultimately fell very flat. Moral: I cannot STAND, and never, ever, WILL be able to STAND you know who's voice, delivery, personality, career, etc. etc. etc. Solution: Turn him OFF.
I'm still working on that.

bluetaco said...

My drive-time solution is a combination of Democracy Now and our local college station's news efforts (KAOS in Olympia), which though sometimes amateurishly produced, are still completely free of that sickening Beltway-insider tone that NPR affects. Oh, and then when I get home I check for Daily Show clips on Crooks and Liars.

Porter Melmoth said...

Good old Evergreen! (home of KAOS).
Hear, hear for Daily Show clips on Crooks & Liars. One of life's great pleasures. Oh, and Wonkette.com, perfect for excoriating beltway sickmakers.

Mytwords said...

Amen!

jules said...

Heard the beginning and end of the "settlements" story this morning(was in the shower for most of it). Neither at the beginning, nor at the end, did they say *illegal* settlements. Was wondering if anyone heard mention of the I word otherwise?

Porter Melmoth said...

I didn't catch much of it either, but I was surprised that Gradstein was actually doing some token prowling around in such territory.

Anonymous said...

I don't know... Seigel's voice doesn't bug me nearly as much as that of Michele Norris. Just the way she SAYS "and I'm Michele Norris" drives me nuts. She just sounds so smugly delighted with her clever perfection.

Which leaves the question of who - speaking in terms of vocal mannerisms alone - drives me least nuts on NPR.

Porter Melmoth said...

Yeah, it's apples and oranges as to who's the most hideous. A Hall of Fame could be created. There's something to offend everybody. I lived in the UK for two years and listened to the BBC every day, admittedly quite a while ago now. But I can't think of one example of any on-air personality who bugged me in any way approaching that of these NPR superstars. I guess that collective experience permanently spoiled me as far as what broadcasting should be. If it's 'personality' one wants, head for entertainment options. For news, intrusive personalities do not work well. Style-wise, NPR intrudes, invades, assumes.

bluetaco said...

My vote for the single most annoying NPR voice: Scott Simon. Whenever he says "Oh, my word!" in that phony-shocked tone of his. I want to reach for my revolver (if I had one).

Anonymous said...

Scott Simon is, yes, the one I detest the most. The word I usually use is... loathe. His laugh is creepy-phony, sure, but when he's at his worst is when he affects his solemn, gentle, hushed fake sincerity. And his voice gets all whisper-husky...

A few weeks back he was interviewing an Iranian ex-pat who had been imprisoned, tortured, raped, and forced to marry her jailer. The interview was fascinating, and she was SO honest and down-to-earth. (damn, I forgot to get her book.)

And Scott Simon, with his affected voice of quiet, mannered caring... I felt like he was molesting her with his greasy fakeness.

Porter Melmoth said...

Well-chosen words to sum up the Simon Effect. Indeed, he might eclipse Little Bob Seigel in my NPR horrorshow gallery. We can be glad though, that Simon Says is confined to one weekly cranny only, (perhaps because he might actually be loathed within the high-flying NPR matrix?) with comparatively low listenership numbers. (I would imagine that only the weekend afternoon shows and Miss Liane have lower numbers; see how the ratings game permeates public broadcasting?) Scottie's got a cushy little soapbox to preach from, even though he didn't become the media superstar, which he obviously wanted to be.

Anonymous said...

Melissa Block is like she's talking to five year old kids with her sing song sweety phoney trap please keep it shut.