Sunday, December 09, 2007

Return of the Living Dead

When trying to convince liberal friends and acquaintances that NPR news coverage does not have even the slightest liberal, progressive or leftist tilt, I often ask them to consider the "expert" viewpoints that are given the lion's share of airtime, or to consider how disputed topics are framed. You can bet the house that if the topic is US foreign policy the extent of the debate on NPR news will range from the neocon far-right to centrist Democrat (at best).

A feature on Saturday's ATC is a case in point. Andrea Seabrook interviews "colorful" John Bolton on the Iran 2007 NIE report. Given that NPR has already devoted large blocks of time to making the neocon case for war on Iran (see my posts of Dec. 7, 2007, Nov. 30, 2007, Nov. 3, 2007, Aug. 23, 2007, Aug. 15, 2007, Aug. 1, 2007, etc.), you might hope to hear some reports on the NIE that challenge the administration and neocon assertions regarding Iran. For example has two former NSC members (hardly anti-establishment!) on to dissect Bush dishonesty about "negotiating" with Iran. On the Informed Comment Global Affairs blog independent scholar Farideh Farhi posited that the release of the NIE was timed to strengthen the punitive sanctions case. Perhaps even more telling is Gareth's Porter's pre-release report on the attempt by neocons to alter the report (his analysis seems vindicated by the release and by the strident, disciplined neocon counterattack covered here by Marc Cooper and here by Khody Akhavi.)

Do we get even a sampling of this rich (and revealing) discussion and analysis? Not on NPR news, and then - to add insult to injury - we are subjected to a 7 minute hurl-fest with Andrea Seabrook and John Bolton, where Bolton (getting a whopping 5.5 minutes of blab time) makes his case that the NIE was a putsch against the White House.

Needless to mention that what we have never heard discussed or analyzed on NPR news is the hype and absurdity that underlies the entire case of Iran as dire threat to world peace - nonsense which is nicely disrobed in a video that I found at this Iran information site.


Porter Melmoth said...

Thanks for the reminder as far as NPR's manipulative tactics are concerned. It is extremely important to know and understand the supposedly subtle approach of NPR in these important current events.

And I ask you, why ever would Yosemite Sam Bolton be a credible 'expert' at this stage of the game? He was never, ever qualified to be qualified at anything except maybe as a much-hated CEO of a small janitorial products company (not to badmouth that field, but you know what I mean).

One of the things I despise about NPR's agenda is their insistence in 'interpreting' news stories rather than just reporting them. Therein lies the style of the 'NPR School of Journalism'. In-depth at NPR means application of a sly 'creative writing' aspect to a given story. The accent is on plot and nuance instead of objectivity. Oh, and it's also got to please the behind the scenes people, you know, the Neocon sponsors. What else can we assume? To have some twerp like Ari 'Fussbudget' Shapiro or 'Adenoid' Andie Seabrook 'interpret' and guide us through the stories of the day is more insulting than it's ever been. We've commented many times on this kind of coy and supposedly 'savvy' reportage, but the pitch has increased to the point where I'm about a '5-minute-a-day' NPR listener again.

I can only reiterate that NPR's handling of stories is an abuse of their public funding. I'm going to start bombarding Rupert Murdoch with email pleas to do a hostile takeover of NPR, which, after his no doubt successful conquest, I'm sure he'd be happy to couple with the WSJ.

As for the Iran situation, whatever are Yosemite Sam Bolton & Co. going to do now that their baldfaced lying has been exposed once again? With the friends they have at NPR, I suppose they don't have to get too awfully worried.

Porter Melmoth said...

Oh, briefly:

I gambled my 5 NPR minutes on Saturday and heard Our Man in LA, Scott 'Showbiz' Simon give the most lacklustre 'report' about when the Munchkins occupied a hotel in Culver City in '39 for 'The Wizard of Oz'. It's a fascinating story, but Simon's dead slug enthusiasm killed it dead. Even the vacuous Kim Masters would have done better. Also, no mention of an entire movie made about the episode, 'Under The Rainbow'.

Then, one of the most inane things I've ever heard: Scott, whose lack of talent has doomed him to Saturday mornings on NPR, attempts to desecrate the humor of Laurel and Hardy's classic 'The Music Box'. I cannot describe it further, except to say, thank heavens Ollie and Stan aren't alive to hear it.

I might have to join big!pink! in the Bunny Vomitorium...

big!pink!fuzzy!bunny! said...

I feel your abdominal pain, Mr. Melmoth. But I couldn't think of better company when upchucking for a common cause. Odd thing is, I notice that other good people at this blog are complaining of the same rumblings in neighboring posts. Think science can provide us with immunization? (No, wait! That would be 'apathy' and me no wanna that)

Haha - "Yosemite Sam Bolton, the rootin'-est, tootin'-est ambassador that ever rooted a toot!"