Monday, June 02, 2008

Some Things Considered

As reader Flavio points out in the 'Open Thread' below, Guy Raz did an admirable interview with John Cusak on Saturday's ATC regarding Cusak's new movie War, Inc. I also heard his interview with McClatchy Newspaper's John Landay regarding Scott McClellan's book and the media's role in the run up to the Iraq war. In both pieces Raz interviewed his guests as if he were a curious, informed person attempting to hone in on the serious and important aspects of the story. It really was jaw-dropping in that he was filling in for Andrea Seabrook, who usually hosts the weekend ATC shows with a giggly, oh-my-gosh vacuousness.

And Sunday's ATC, which is generally light fare anyway, wasn't awful either. When the piece on the "anti-folk" comic artist started I cringed, thinking it would be one of those horrid pieces where anyone with a conscience is ridiculed or disdained, and instead it turned out to be substantive with guest and host seriously discussing what it means to be an artist has in this damaged world of ours. I actually came to appreciate what the guest was doing, after an initial negative reaction.

Good Lord, even the piece by Sam Hudzik on Obama's cutting ties with his former church was interesting and thoughtful.

I didn't hear all of both shows, so perhaps I missed something really galling (I hope not), but what I listened to was such a radical departure from the insipid fare usually dished up on the weekend ATC that I was quite surprised.

Unfortunately, Sunday's ATC ended with Guy Raz announcing that next weekend Andrea Seabrook would be back.


Flávio Américo dos Reis said...

And just to show them I am a sport, I wrote Alicia Shepard, the ombudsman, a nice note, heaping praise on them for both reports (Cusack's and Landay's interviews), letting her know how relieved I was to write NPR to praise them, instead of calling them, with blood vessels about to pop, to berate them about their boosterism of war, militarism, mom, apple pie and the flag.

It was a relief not to have to write them in anger.

Maybe they'll get the message that there are thinking, sentient people that disagree with them, and that they are in the majority.

Porter Melmoth said...

And there's always the possibility that someone influential at NPR is actually paying attention to us. They certainly should, as we're providing a valuable (and free!) feedback service for them. They can access it semi-anonymously and save face at the same time. Sure, there's snarking here, but anyone with any sense can see the serious tone that prevails.

War On War Off said...

Noticed how Scottie Simon didn't have much to say about McClellan's book during the segment with Daniel Schorr. Schorr himself thought it was old news for us to learn that Bush lied us into war. I suppose Scottie didn't want to mention how on script with this horrible debacle from Day One...

Anonymous said...

Was the piece on the "anti-folk artist" a substitute for an article about the death of labor-folk icon, Utah Phillips?

NPR-VOA sometimes substitutes sideways coverage for real coverage on topics politically dangerous to militarism and capitalism.

Anonymous said...

Oops. Now I see that NPR noted Utah Phillips' passing on Thursday.

So the next folkie piece was a follow-up diversion.