Thursday, December 27, 2007

Very NPRish

In the "Open Thread" below readers have commented on NPR's series about blogs. The inimitable Steve Inskeep sets the tone for this sad waste of news time that occasionally rises to mediocrity. On Monday's Morning Edition show (12/24/07) we get a "radio version of a weblog" repleat with cutesy little sound effects such as echo-chamber sound to indicate hyperlinks and a corny "boing" to represent clicking on a link. The beginning of the piece features a montage of voices blathering on about trivia and Inskeep chimes in "Ok, random people I've never heard of talking - this is pretty much how it is when you're going, surfing blogs." He later adds, "fragmented thoughts, this is very bloggish."

This opening salvo in the series sets the bar pretty low. We hear a lot from one of the earliest daily personal diary bloggers, Justin Hall, we tells us "to receive attention from strangers is so flattering and that's what weblogs offer." And keeping with the stupid and inconsequential, Inskeep reveals, "I can post my own comment about everything that's been going on, so let me do that now, and I want to begin not by talking about something that Justin Hall actually said but about my feelings...what I FEEL anyway..." (Irony, thy name is Inskeep!)

Christmas morning's present to listeners isn't much better - in spite of Raed Jarrar's blog getting a mention. In case you thought yesterday's stupidity was a fluke, Inskeep jumps right back in with "This week on Morning Edition we're asking a cosmic question: If a tree falls in the blogosphere does it make a sound - a sound that makes sense?" He goes on to wonder, "Maybe you even think they all [blogs] sound like this:" a cluttered audio montage of tabloid gossip, juvenile remarks, and trivial comments then follows. Renee Montagne then talks to Sarah Boxer of the NYT who is putting blog posts into a book. Montagne is just amazed that bloggers might write something worthy of publishing; shocked she exclaims "blogs that were compelling enough to make the leap - get this - into a book!" OMG! Boxer seems harmless enough, she does cite Jarrar's blog, but her ear for the bitter and sardonic is pretty wooden. She really loved the blog by a marine in Fallujah (blogs from sites of war crimes are sooo cool). The post she chose was one where the marine is amused by the PX overstocking supplies. He writes, "sometimes it's just weird, like panties, lacy black women's panties." He just can't imagine what the US military could be planning to do with all those women's panties! Boxer also hasn't a clue what a media critic is. She sneeringly notes "Bloggers who profess to be against the mainstream media, kind of want to be part of that. It's still something to go for."

Wednesday's piece was probably the best of the bunch. It dealt with the risks to bloggers in countries such as Egypt, and the US military's paranoia about soldiers blogging too freely.

Today's feature was a bland one about a Chicago mom of six turned unoffensive humorist who has landed a book deal! Wow. Of all the great bloggers to feature, we had to get this. We'll see what comes tomorrow...


Kevan Smith said...

NPR's demo is pre-geriatric, thus just now venturing into the blog world. Poohing blogs flatters them: "You don't need to read silly blogs from kids." It's a calculated angle.

WarOnWarOff said...

Hey NPR, why don't you feature THIS site?


Porter Melmoth said...

Stevie's got that gameshow host look all right. It's the hair.