Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Q Tips

NPR related comments welcomed.

18 comments:

RepubLiecan said...

On Morning Edition Juan Williams was introduced as a political analyst in a story billed as dissecting what was working for the campaigns. Williams proceeded to repeat campaign talking points, lines of attack mainly from the McCain campaign with no analysis at all, even when prompted for it several times by Renee Montagne. Juan must be saving his best analysis for Fox News because he is only holding down a stenographer position with the National Promote Reporters network.

miranda said...

Are they all working for/auditioning for Faux Noise? Yesterday TOTN host Neil Conan, my personal bete noir this campaign season, gave some "equal time" to an Obama-endorsing pundit, and proceeded to rebut the callers' pro-Obama comments with pro-McCain arguments of his own, including this non sequitur: "He never put on a [military] uniform." Methinks Neilie loves him some Military Man McCain. Most Americans, sick of global belligerance, seem more interested in cool reason and calm judgment.

Anonymous said...

I used to listen to NPR every day back in the 80's, but now I flip right by it on the dial.

These people (Conan, Inscrap, Meeeshell NOOORIS, et al) make me so sick that I can't even stomach listening to them any more.

They have elevated "balance" to the "be all and end all" of reporting.

Truth and accuracy matter not as long as you have faux/Fox balance.

We can thank NPR President Kevin Klose for the change in direction.

He has transformed NPR from a legitimate news source into a "he-said she said" tabloid.

That's my perception.

Others are free to disagree, of course.

After all, "Balance makes the world go round!"

Porter Melmoth said...

You will find, Anon, in the archives of this blog, literally hundreds of examples that bolster your perception. Chilling reading, but well-vetted and presented.

This morn, Inscreep (or yeah - Inscrap, take yer pick), facilitated another session of McNeeds-A-Cane worship, and the 'expert' sorta thought McCain & Obama are 'very much alike'. Vintage NPR fairness and balancing!

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

Welcome to the light, Anon.
You're among a group of true kindreds here!

Signed,
big!pink!fuzzy!headlines-only!bunny!

Kevan Smith said...

The latest NPR Ombudsman's column is, appropriately enough, called "Balancing The News."

Here's an excerpt:

NPR newscasters are keenly aware of their responsibility to provide balance when airing news about McCain or Obama, said Greg Peppers, executive producer of NPR newscasts.

"The mandate is balance, balance, balance," Peppers said. "To be fair, it has to be even. It does a disservice to listeners to not be balanced."

Grimblebee said...

Er, well...McScary and Oblahma ARE alike, unfortunately (says this Nader/McKinney supporter)!!

Porter Melmoth said...

From my latest blog entry over at my place:

"Not surprisingly, Ralph Nader has trenchant things to say about both candidates, and Nader tells it like it is. I think though, that it would be far preferable if Nader applied his skills toward something more do-able than the lost cause of running for president. He is a brilliant mind, and he speaks the truth, but if he can't apply his words in practical ways, he is only speaking to the wind."

I voted for Nader twice, but this time, well, we do need to heed his wisdom, but not supply him with votes.

PS: The 'expert' on NPR compared McCain & Obama emotionally/ethically, (that they supposedly follow the teachings of the same theologist and that they both like 'For Whom The Bell Tolls'!) but not politically. Simplistic NPR filler talk from simpletons, not to be taken seriously at all...

Grimblebee said...

And what do you get by "supplying your vote" to Obama (or to McCain, for that matter)? The same charade we always get.

This is the result of getting caught up in who's more "fair and balanced" than whom. The world is not all about Donkeys and Elephants.

One of the things I like about this website and its owner is that it focuses on the larger issues and the lies we are told by NPR -- the same lies we are told by all the "media," the politicians, et al. Those who believe that Obama will save us are falling for the same lies, just in a different guise.

A vote for Nader may not change things or have a practical effect, but it is a vote of conscience and a vote for authenticity and truth, not style and spin.

One of the questions I ask on my blog is this: Suppose Obama were down 10 points in the polls, and not McCain -- and that his chance of winning were remote. Would casting a vote for him then be considered pissing in the wind? Would you say, "Thanks, we like what you have to say, but we won't vote for you?" No, of course not. So why is that standard applied to Nader?

Nader's candidacy also serves the larger purpose of calling attention to the very charade I am talking about, and that alone makes it useful and worthwhile. When the corporations of squeezed every last dime out of ordinary Americans, when the wars have exhausted our last sous and made us the pariah of the world (oh yeah, we already are!), when people are disillusioned by President Obama as they surely will be -- then, as they say in Field of Dreams, "People Will Come."

It may not be today or this year or in ten years, but someday. The alternative is virtual slavery and a long, nightmarish Dark Ages.

miranda said...

I agree with you, melmoth.

I love what Nader and McKinney have to say, and I am ardently anti-war, but I think there is a place for pragmatism in elections, particularly this one. I have fallen for the "both parties are the same" line in the past, and having seen what eight years of stolen Republican rule has done to the country and the world, no longer believe there is value in voting for unelectable third-party candidates.

Grimblebee said...

Please show me one issue of importance in which there is a meaningful difference between McNasty and Oblahma. Just one. Iran? Iraq? Russia? Afghanistan? The Economy? The Bailout? Capital Punishment?

I'm not talking about vague rhetoric. I'm talking about tangible, meaningful policy differences, preferably backed up by a vote or other substantive action.

I'll be waiting....

In the meanwhile, you might want to head on over to Nader's website and read the article by Matt Gonzalez: "What Do They Have To Do To Lose Your Vote"?

Precisely!

Anonymous said...

The latest NPR Ombudsman's column is, appropriately enough, called "Balancing The News."

Same as it ever was.

Their last ombudsman (Dvorkian) also took balance to the extreme.

It was actually rather hilarious (in a pathetic sort of way)

He would "analyze" (allegedly for "bias") all of the pieces aired by NPR related to one particular issue (the presidential campaign, for example) and then state his "findings" :

"49.86438% had a Conservative bent and 50.13561% had a Liberal bent (with 0.00001 undecided)" and then say "Look, almost perfect balance!" and pat NPR reporters (and himself) on the back.

I may have put in too few significant digits, but you get the picture.

The office of ombudsman at NPR is a total sham. It has no real independence and no real power. They are hired by management and serve at their pleasure and the vast majority of what they say amounts to simply making excuses for glaring problems with NPR reports (pointed out by listeners).

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

In the NoPR lexicon, "balance" equates to "playing it safe (especially, especially upon the delicate sensibilities of our corporate donors)."

And yow! This is the most Nader coverage I've seen this election year, just from perfunctory skimming of the McNews You Can Hardly Use.

Grimblebee said...

You mean here on this blog? That would be true, since NPR has been as solid as the rest of the media in blacking out Nader, McKinney et al.

Porter Melmoth said...

I for one, have never, ever expected an American president to be a Moses figure and lead the people to the Promised Land. Particularly in this day and age, that's just romantic fantasy. Presidents can set the tone, but the real power is in who's got the money, not who's got the ideas. American Politics 101 is brutal and bleak, under the guise that it's 'civilized'.

There's little need to argue your points, Grimblebee. I agree for the most part. I respect your protest and your purposeful idealism. Supporting Nader is an honorable and reasonable thing to do. I also can link with George Carlin's argument about the absolute pointlessness of voting. But I'm more of a minimalist now: i.e. I already have low expectations, so baby steps are better than backward steps. I think that Obama, on the international scene anyway, will have a more positive effect than McCain's presumed continuation of a Neocon hegemony agenda. I can't grind through the details here, but he might be able to restore some of America's standing in the world. That's a vague statement, but I think it is a significant difference between the two.

Part of the purpose of this blog is to point out the flaws of NPR and their relation to larger issues surrounding them. Sometimes those critiques are frustratingly shallow though, reflecting NPR's approach. Most of us here are deeply disappointed in NPR and their kowtowing to those elements of 'American Politics 101' and their corporate masters. Yesterday I got into an argument with a person who still absolutely insists that NPR is unshakably liberal.

Ever since Halliburton and it's criminally-culpable CEO relocated to Dubai in order to be beyond US law, the blatancy of the Neocon/corporate agenda has been particularly apparent. That is, the corporate monolith has no intention of surrendering any of its power, ever. Nader has the guts to point this and many other truths out. But as President he might be just as powerless as anyone else to effect true change. (No, I'm not going to say 'when the revolution comes' right now - Americans are still too anesthetized, but I can dream...)

I said that Nader might be speaking to the wind, but he's not pissing in it. He is an important source of sanity in this madness, and I hope he can find a better point of leverage from which to facilitate his truths. This is another vague statement, but hell, I've got to start somewhere, instead of just mourning - then rotting - over the state of the world.

Porter Melmoth said...

That's a great article by Matt Gonzalez at votenader.org. It certainly reconfirms and solidifies my ongoing disgust at both parties' intertwinings, a phenomenon that really got going under Clinton. There's no doubt that Obama's in on the racket. Empires do not allow for needed integrity to survive intact.

Nader did happen to get a token slot on NPR recently. Seeking to butter his audience up with a few signs that his dictatorship has some benevolence to it, The Simonizer allowed each 'alternative' candidate a few minutes of Sat. morn to state their case. I must say, Nader did a superb job of presenting his statements with conciseness and proper impact, all within an insultingly limited opportunity. After that, I'm sure NPR felt they had done their bit in 'covering' Nader and his campaign. The media made damn well sure that Nader wasn't going to get ANY opportunity to thoroughly present himself. No surprises there.

My feeling is that many Republicans will certainly tolerate an Obama administration, fully expecting it to malfunction, thus opening up the possibility to retake the WH in '12, with Jebber and/or Field Marshall Petraeus.

Anonymous said...

That "balance" piece by NPR's ombudsman (Alicia Shepard) is hilarious. Especially the part where she indicates that airing a recording of one candidate while just quoting the other can tip the scales in favor of the aired candidate.

Shepard illustrates her point with the example of airing Sarah Palin!

Just how airing anything Palin says is supposed to lend her an advantage is a mystery to which only Shepard has the answer.

Anonymous said...

"If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations, then I don't know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media." -- Sarah Palin in a radio interview today

I suppose that airing such confused gibberish about the first amendment would somehow help Palin?

Perhaps in "Shepard's World" (TM).