Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Can You Find the Watchdog?

Has anyone else noticed that NPR seems to be interested in journalism now that the Liar in Chief has departed Washington. Obama wasn't even sworn in and NPR was selling the "Obameter." Yesterday on ATC they brought out Folkenflik to give lip service to the the ethics of journalism. He airs Bill Nichols, managing editor of the utterly uninspired online and print publication Politico:
"I just also want to be sure that the President and the people who work for him are being subject to people who are trained as journalists and who are asking the question that perhaps some of the people watching things from out there in the country are not able to ask."
Folkenflik then introduces "veteran CBS reporter Bill Plante" talking about the Obama administration's transgression of offering a White House produced photo from the Oval Office. Folkenflik notes that Plante "said news outlets needed to draw the line." We then hear Plante:
"Do you originate the material or do you function as a transmission belt for handouts from the government. The whole idea of an independent press as guaranteed by the the First Amendment is that it would serve as a watchdog and check on the power of government."
Folkenflik also claims that
"in a conventional model of news gathering - think of what the Washington Post does - journalists are supposed to be watchdogs and surrogates for the public, trained to see patterns in data and ask informed questions, though some critics argue there's more bark than bite."
Holy cow! If NPR had been doing any of these things, I'd gladly shut this blog down.


SteveS said...

I find it interesting that you find NPR has slid to the right, as you say on your NPR profile. I've listened to NPR since 1987 and am (I think) mildly conservative. I listen to NPR to see that the liberal side is thinking and to challenge my thinking.

I have found it to be more liberal as time has gone by.

Steve said...

This long time NPR listener has seen a steady move to the right, especially since the 2004 campaign. It continued this morning, with plenty of time given to Republican members of Congress and minimal time given to the Dems. It's been that way ever since the 20th.

For NPR to talk about the responsibilities of journalists to provide oversight and criticism to the White House, after the 8 year cow-tow fest that was provided to W, is an utter outrage.

Not another dime.

Liberality said...

I began to listen to NPR back in the early 1990s every single day. I did not have or watch television so NPR was my news source. I also read newspapers but their focus was usually local. I began to notice in the year 2000 that NPR was sliding to the right. Before I thought they gave both sides of an issue but as time went on they did it less and less. It was lip service to right wing talking points and rah, rah USA. Sorry, but I expect better than that. Now they are a bunch of barely disguised Republicans grousing about President Obama and the democratic platform every chance they get.

Anonymous said...

"some critics argue there's more bark than bite."

For the NPR parrots, there's more screech than bite.

The NPR reporters would not know a dog (or REAL journalist) if it bit them on the leg.

Hubertg said...

Leaning right or left the overall quality and content on NPR has diminished in quality. What is the Council on Foreign Relations doing? What are our embassy missions abroad up to? When was the last time an American oil company pumped effluent all over a jungle floor? How many countries are unsafe for Americans travel in now? When is the central pipeline of drug flow coming up from Mexico through Texas going to stop? What is being done to stem the flow of jobs out of America? What policies and activities have the IMF/World bank been up to? Why isn't there a voting record of Congress published in the mainstream media?As far as the academics of informative reporting goes, American news reporting is at a very low level of is mostly small stuff that has little value when it comes to keeping people abreast of World affairs and the the truly important issues that affect their lives at home and on a global scale. Most reporting is cherry picked to keep us stupid, and repetitive, as a distraction to the really important stuff. The corporatocracy prevails.

Mytwords said...

"I find it interesting that you find NPR has slid to the right, as you say on your NPR profile."

Actually I don't just "say" it on my profile; I thoroughly document it and have been doing so for almost 3 years on this blog - all of which is still archived here for anyone to read and use.

To anyone claiming NPR News "to be more liberal as time has gone by" I'd politely say that's simply not true; it's just an opinion with no evidence to support it.

To anyone claiming that NPR is "liberal," I'd say "Show me the evidence." I don't think it can be done.

miranda said...

Mytwords, that's what makes this blog so valuable: research, documentation and evidence.

"Liberal" is a stereotype, and one that is useful to NPR, a wolf in sheep's clothing whose propagandistic purpose it is to keep the "soft left" soft.

War On War Off said...

Oooh, they gawna be journamalists nau. I can haz journamalism! How cute!

And I can hardly bear to listen to NPR corporate ratwing crap anymore; it's sad, it's insulting, it's annoying, and yes, it's thoroughly documented here for all to see.

Porter Melmoth said...

I've said it before, but new viewers here could take an hour or two of well-spent time and peruse the archives of this blog, either by subject or just randomly. Time and again, blatant evidence of NPR's various agendas will be found. And despite their knowledge of 'NPR Check', no one from NPR has ever dealt with the findings or observations here. Probably because very little defense of them is possible.

Anonymous said...

"And despite their knowledge of 'NPR Check', no one from NPR has ever dealt with the findings or observations here. Probably because very little defense of them is possible."

It fits in nicely with NPR's approach to news "coverage".

Cover the things that fit into your world view and advance your agenda and ignore those that do not. "NO Iraqi WMD" and "Downing Street Minutes" fit in to the latter category.

It is classic "propaganda by cherry picking".

You pick only the stories you want to cover and act as if the rest do not even exist.

It is a very effective game, since it obviates the need to even address the arguments that one opposes.

And since the people making the contrary arguments do not have access to the national airwaves (as NPR does), their claims do not get much of any exposure, which is just the way NPR wants it.

The NPR ombudsman is also playing the game, by the way.

The idea that she is "independent" is basically a joke. She certainly makes FAR more money as an apologist for NPR (about $150k per year in just salary) than she could ever make as a legitimate critic.

Anonymous said...

EVERY NPR Ombudstool has been a joke. Public relations representative for the propagandists.

Anonymous said...

I would not have thought it possible, but Shepard is actually worse than Dvorkin.

Her posts on her blog are little more than opinionated tripe.

And to top it all off, she can't even write. Guess that's why she's an "ombudsman" and not a "journalist".

Hubertg said...

Well it is certainly important to watch the dogs. Let it be known that my personal opinion is: The outgoing administration is the biggest crime family in the world.
..... all of Congress watches and does nothing, as they walk away scott free.

Anonymous said...

I was a member back 30 years ago and lapsed a membership for a decade or so. When I cam back it was a whole new world of NPR.

I listen a lot, not to be "informed" but to see the theory of dominant culture hegemony confirmed. Here is the most "liberal" outlet going (according to some) and they do nothing but re-inforce the American exceptionalism, capitalist mind-set, and military might making right espoused by the dominant culture.

And that's the "news" programs. Don't get me started on crap like Car Talk, The Sound of Young America, and on and on and on and on . . .

BTW? I think this blog does a heck of a job when it comes to dissecting the right-ward lurch.

Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

NPR ("You can't spell Republican without it") is just about the paradigm case of the ideology of the 'center.' The center has moved ever-rightward these last 30 years (that's how long I've listened, since around '78), and NPR has followed docilely along, never doubting its own rectitude.

Remember: In the Corporate State, corporate media are the State Media...

Anonymous said...

"NPR has followed docilely along, never doubting its own rectitude."

...or rectaltube, either.

NPR is like a sausage plant. What goes in is garbage. What comes out looks nice enough on the outside, but it's the same garbage inside, nonetheless.

It was not always that way. I too used to listen to public radio way back when --before "they" (NPR management and announcers) took the public out and replaced it with propaganda.

famished said...

I simply think about NPR as Nice Polite Republicans. They have fallen off the charts. How do we justify having folks we share with Fox?