Monday, August 25, 2008

Q Tips

NPR related comments welcomed.


Porter Melmoth said...

Steve Inskreep put on his Actual Reporter hat this morning and showboated his talents, as he loves to do. His big ploy: 'anti-abortionist' Sen. Bob Casey of PA is - get ready - BACKING PRO-CHOICE Sen. Obama. Relishing the possibility of a huge confrontation, Our Motormouthing Man At The Convention needled and hounded Casey about the ABORTION issue like a shrill mosquito, honing in on the GOTCHA moment. Well, that moment never came. Casey handled this bozo with calmness, dignity and yes, patience. He explained that the abortion issue was not relevant to his decision to back Obama, while Inskreep continued to make a fool out of himself, even going so far as to 'play a tape' of some nobody declaring some defiant rubbish that was designed to irk Casey. A complete flop. It shows how stupid NPR is for even airing the segment, but it made Casey sound like a reasonable and thoughtful man.

Valueless NPR 'reporting' at its best.

And then there was the gentler, kinder Mara Liarsson, tiptoeing through a mild analysis of Michele Obama's steady speech and Ted Kennedy's, as well. Mara's such a fake. If Michele wasn't black, and if Ted weren't ill, you can bet she'd have spit out more of her gooey, ersatz, mock-sophisticated 'wit', but this segment showed off her 'Foxy' sneaky side.

(I must say, I was a bit choked up hearing Ted. What a heroic effort from a great senator. What a triumph. Bless him!)

GJ said...

I popped on to express my dismay at Steve Inskeep's perpetuating the myth that Bob Casey didn't speak at the Democratic convention because of his anti-abortion stand when in fact he supported the eventual nominee's opponent. I see that porter melmouth has covered Inskeep's relentless attempts at a GOTCHA on Casey Jr. Inskeep is rarely so insistent on catching conservatives in GOTCHA moments. My support for and listening to NPR has dropped drastically in the past two years.

Steve Byan said...

It seems the Republican's have busted NPR, just like they've busted the justice department, FEMA, the FDA, etc. What might a future Democratic administration do to restore some integrity?

The governance of NPR as described here looks reasonably independent of the Federal government in theory. What went wrong? Do the NPR member stations really think NPR is doing a good job? Should we be disabusing them of this notion?

Or has NPR simply succumbed to the group-think of modern pseudo-journalism?

Porter Melmoth said...

Those are questions, Steve, that, to my mind anyway, lie at the very heart of this blog. That's why, despite the burlesque and humor applied to some of these NPR issues (to keep some of us sane), the value of critiquing NPR is very serious indeed.

Ever since certain parties realized that NPR was a specialized but influential media outlet of great potential, a huge amount of effort has been put into its development, taking it from the 'educational radio' stigma to a media authority of consequence. That's been the goal, anyway. Never mind that NPR is seriously flawed as far as 'public' is concerned - a term rendered meaningless. And there is plenty of evidence that those parties with interests in NPR News are, as the theme of this blog states at the very beginning: right-wing, pro-government and corporate entities. The Archives provide overwhelming evidence of this. These entities are especially amenable to the idea of letting NPR appear to be left-wing, or center-left, so as to employ subtler ways of innuendo and downright propaganda when the timing is right. NPR listeners don't necessarily recognize the craftiness being practiced on them. I know that I didn't, but I know now. Thus my wariness.

My chorus has been this: spin NPR off into the private sector where it can wither amongst the competition and START OVER, certainly under a Democratic administration. But that's no guarantee of impartiality, either. Easier said than done, because some lobbyist or congressperson has to champion the cause, but if Big Government is so keen to privatize larger chunks of the governmental monolith, it should be a cinch to privatize NPR.

And there is this: in this day and age, maybe we just don't need an NPR or NPR-like thing at all. It might be an outdated notion that is best relegated to the dustbin of history.

Flávio said...

Wow, Port, that was one of the most perspicacious and spot on comments I have read on this site. Thank you. I agree with you two hundred and fifty percent.

NPR is so out of touch with reality that, indeed, it is a totally outmoded form of information.

The World Wide Web--if you know how to use it--does such a better job of informing people that I don't even know why I even listen to NPR anymore.

The time is approaching when NPR will, indeed, be consigned to the dustbin of history. As Georgie said, "You can fool some of the people some of the time..."

War On War Offf said...

Should we be disabusing them of this notion?

I got into a huge email exchange with Bob Garfield of "On The Media" after I wrote on their website that "NPR was in the tank." He had a major hissy fit, and even though I tried to make a distinction between OTM and NPR, he kept defending NPR. They are in complete denial! It's really sad.

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

Eh, "OTM" (whose recited name I had at first confused with "Omnimedia" as in Martha "and-that's-a-good-thing" Stewart) never grabbed me in the first place - I whiffed the reek of that too-cool smarminess à la Gross Air that throws me into near-involuntary convulsions.

Garf seems kinda touchy for a self-described "media watchdog" guy, eh?

Flávio said...

Gladstone and Garfield lost all my respect when they brought a hack from USA Today to explain, following the leak of the Downing Street Memo, that "fixing the intelligence and the facts around the policy," really meant something else in British English. And I quote:

MARK MEMMOTT: Britain and the United States are separated by a common language, I think is the cliché. To someone in Britain, it's possible that that phrase, fixed around, could mean attached to or bolted on, not necessarily skewed. It's possible that that phrase, fixed around, could also mean, well they selectively take good intelligence, and that's what they emphasize, to build their case. So that's where the argument comes down to why it's so important to find out exactly what the person who wrote that meant.

(On the Media June 10, 2005 Didn't Get the Memo)

You want real media criticism, then don't look to On the Media, a program that consistently disappoints, but look to organizations like FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting)and Media Matters for

To rely on On the Media is akin to expecting the foxes to guard the chicken coop--highly unrealistic.

noel said...

Another great show that critiques the media is your call in SF. Consistently smart and yes, progressive.

They actually talked about corporate donors, which is missing from just about everywhere but Democracy Now.

A recent good show was about campaign contributions.

Anonymous said...


10:40 am Sunday...LeAnn Hanson's high paid manufactured personality seems to always ignore the obvious. When she was interviewing a 17 year old student, Mike Knoff attending the GOP convention she asked him about what he thought of McCain's policys and he said something to the effect that people would keep more of their money with McCain. She never asked him "how do you see that happening.." but went right on with her "air headed shmoozing". Not so good in the follow-ups these high paid reporters for NPR. He also said that he wanted to be a Governor some day..lucky us.

1 pm Sunday, Turkeyville, Michigan, USA. I was at a Flea market today and a person who was helping homeless animals coming from owners who had lost their homes and I complimented here for doing that.
She said "Well the darned economy is so bad you know..."
Yes, I said maybe we'll get lucky and the new guy will fix it..."
she said "yeah, McCain is great, I was on the fence until he picked that new girl she's great!"

Her husband chimed in "yup, she's a real firecracker!"
I said "I am for Obama." she said "Oh, you are an Obama supporter?". I nodded and walked away feeling sad for this country, wondering how many others are that loaded with preconceptions based on crude cultural spin that does not see the war, the economy, the homeless, the
wiretapping and torture..



Porter Melmoth said...

In November, we shall see who really cares about this country, and those who just want to extract something from it for their own purposes.

truthseeker said...

If the votes are counted.

Anonymous said...

Good week for comments!

FAIR has a radio show on Pacifica station WBAI (NY-99.5) Fridays 10 am called Counterspin.
It is a great show, where you hear many things you did not hear during the week, or you hear a different take.
Probably can listen online:

I'd like to add in response to Steve [in addition to the very substantive comments by the always insightful and inciteful Porter] -

NPR's reputation for "liberalism" seems to carry-on, as they continue to go further and further to the right.
Example: the other day I was at a vigil against the war, and met a new person, who seemed spot-on about many topics, until...

She said she listened to NPR. She didn't even say it with shame. (as I sometimes admit to listening, but with great embarrassment)
She just did not believe me when I told her it was National Pentagon Radio. Next time I see her I'll refer her to this blog.

It baffles me that one who is Progressive in many areas could continue to listen, and call it liberal, but I often run into this phenomenon.