Monday, January 28, 2008

Open Thread

NPR related comments welcomed.


larry, dfh said...

'on the Media' is a show I usually try to catch, but the last two shows have been just awful. Last week it was Brooke Gladstone in her hyper-agressive 'questioning' of Dennis Kucinich. It seems she was all outraged because he wants to sue GE over NBC's dropping him from the debates. His logic was absolutely on target: GE is a big part of the MIC, and he is the only Dem. who is absolutely anti-war. GE was depriving the U.S. public of an anti-war presidential candidate to support their bottom line. Well, this was too much for ole Brooke, and she was frothing at him.
This week it was all about how much PTSD has been exaggerated in the press, how we-you and I-"blamed the Viet-Nam vets for the Viet-Nam war", and how the Iraq/Afghanistan vets are getting the help they need here at home. There was a little bit of truthful interjection here and there, but most of the script was nearly identical to that of the White House. Brooke Gladstone seems to be a Neo-con cheerleader, and has pretty much turned me off as a listener to that show. I'm left with Harry Shearer's 'Le Show' as the only reliable source of information on NPR, and I've already read about most of his stories before his broadcast.

Porter Melmoth said...

Wow, Larry, sounds typically like NPR of today - in a nutshell.

The only NPR show I still value is 'On Point'. At least it's a discussion show as opposed to a lecture. Sort of like Charlie Rose. One can approach it with one's critical thinking intact. And yes, it's not NPR News, but WBUR-originated, which makes me feel a bit better about it.

larry, dfh said...

Charley Rose is an idiot. I'd rather do anything than watch that disheveled clown.
On a lighter note, 'Day-2-Day' closed with an hilarious bit by Ken Rudin on the SOTU, with all these fabulous Bush post-SOTU moments, complete with the stammering. That other clown Alex Chadwick only said: "send your letters to the ombudsman". He seemed angry, when really all that was aired was Bush, no commentary. If the unadorned truth is too much for Chadwick, then fuck him.

Anonymous said...

I have to chime in here on this weekend's blatantly propagandistic ON THE MEDIA: You are so on point, Larry. I wanted to puke, I was so sickened by what Gladstone said.

It brought to mind Ariel Dorfman's book HOW TO READ DONALD DUCK, about the spate of propaganda movies that followed the Vietnam war--like the Deer Hunter, where the Vietnamese are portrayed as the aggressors (the Vietnamese playing Russian roulette), and the Americans the victims when they returned home.

Seems to me a case of induced amnesia, and that is what they excel at. There was Brooke trotting out that lie that people spit on veterans when they returned home, and that there really weren't that many PTSD cases.

Sheesh! You'd have to be born this morning to think you were hearing objectivity. It was clearly propaganda.

But I already got the 411 on Garfield and Gladstone a few years back when they invited that idiot from USA Today to pooh-pooh the Downing Street memo as merely a semantic/linguistic difference between the Englisnh spoken on the two sides of the pond!

I definitely got their MO that day, and I prefer to read FAIR and Media Matters and Danny Schechter for my media dissection.


Mytwords said...

Interesting comments regarding the latest On the Media (OTM) show. I'll throw in my two cents. OTM is a strange mix of interesting and worthless and worse. It's problematic in that it supposedly critiques the media, but is produced by a major mainstream pro-establishment media outlet--NPR! If you look at the transcript of the veteran piece it's a pretty odd mix ( Lembcke who is on as a guest is the lead debunker of the "spit on Vets" myth, but the story definitely acts like Viet Vets were blamed for the war (you'd never know that Vets were a major force of the anti-war movement). Pretty slick piece of work really, eh? I don't usually waste my time with the show, but often hear part of it waiting for McChesney's Media Matters that follows it on our local.
Oh, for anyone who has not seen it, Sir, No Sir is absolutely inspiring and fantastic regarding the anti-war vet heroes of the Vietnam era.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed Ted Koppel's economic wisdom tonight on the folly of an economic stimulus package to prevent, or lessen, a looming recession. OMG it will involve borrowing money! What a pompous dickhead.

There's a weird meme going around now... "won't a economic stimulus plan add to the deficit?" WTF? I've heard it several times now on NPR in the past few days (oh, now you're concerned about the 9 trillion dollar deficit?) Why would you have Koppel bather on in his weird sanctimonious way instead of giving a few minutes to, say, Krugman or Stiglitz or Delong or any non-crazy economist, to explain the theory behind it?

I can't think of anything of substance that Koppel, or Dan Schorr, or Cokie have added to the knowledge or understanding of NPR's listeners, EVER.

Anonymous said...

(OTOH, the interview with Jim Fallows was excellent and informative, and I highly recommend his Atlantic article on the topic)

paul maurice martin said...

I believe that This I Believe was never really open to the public and that giving this impression was a clever device for marketing the This I Believe series – no doubt with a book spin off already done or in the works.

Every time I heard an essay read, it was by someone with a marketing platform. I believe that This I Believe was about as open to talented members of the general public with no platform or connections as, say, Random House or Time-Warner are to talented authors without such hallmarks of talent.


Porter Melmoth said...

Today's ATC:

- An absolutely contemptible report by Karen Grigsby-Bates on a medical marijuana outlet in LA. Smug isn't an adequate enough word. All the classic NPR touches of offensive delivery, innuendo, and barely-disguised disdain were on parade. NPR's peevish priggishness at its very worst, nicely exhibited to scoff at.

- A 'witty' postmortem on Ghouliani's quitting the prez race, a rare bit of 'gotcha' journalism (while trying to be clever, too!) on NPR, but only wheeled out when the scene is safe, and it's OK to show off a bit of drivel-y NPR 'humor'.

- John Edwards' media freeze-out lasts to the end. Much more time was given to Ghouliani's bailing than Edwards' bow-out, with very little exposition.

ME Low-note:

Terrible-quality Deford satire on the Super Bowl, via Shakespearian recitations. No great horror in itself, except that he had some NPR stalwarts do the different character voices. Big mistake. No wonder Ari Shapiro didn't make it in acting school.

ME Hi-note:

- My good Philip Reeves had a nice little segment on India's new mini-car, the Nano. The way he 'did the numbers' as a demonstration of the multiplying of the car population in India should shock the crap out of those timid NPR devotees.