Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Q Tips

NPR related comments are always welcomed.


Diogenes99 said...

On 02/18/09 I sent a short suggestion to Morning Edition for a topic it might cover, which it had not yet covered. NPR finally replied on 02/23.

I call this response PATHETIC. NPR had my suggestion for FIVE days, and came up with a "mouse"--a boilerplate plate response! I guess no one there has figured out about autoresponders. wrote:
> Dear XXXX,
> Thank you for contacting NPR's Morning Edition.
> NPR welcomes thoughtful story ideas from our listening audience. You can learn more about submission guidelines, including information about where to send a piece, by visiting
> Please note that submissions do not guarantee your idea will be broadcast.
> Thank you for listening to Morning Edition, and for your continued support of public broadcasting. For the latest news and information, visit
> Sincerely,
> Jeff
> NPR Services
> 202-513-3232
> NPR encourages you to support your favorite public radio station. Please visit
>, select your station, and make a
> financial contribution.
> NPR invites you to join its audience advisory panel, NPR Listens.
> Learn more at
> --------------- Original Text -----------------
> Date : 2/18/2009 9:34:22 AM
> When is ME (orATC) going to carry a story about XXXXXXX? Writer YYYYY at (well-respected) site ZZ has written a lot about this, but I dont think I have heard a word about this matter on NPR.

Diogenes99 said...

Maybe the NPR folks are not so much biased, as lazy and ill-educated.

I listen to ATC and ME from time to time, and when I do, it usually doesn't take long before a story makes me wonder, "is it possible that the allegations of bias are related in some way to stupidity and laziness on the part of the NPR staff?"

Here's a case in point.
The Monday Technology segment dealt with the question "how do you dispose of your old computer?" That covered two aspects of disposal: erasing your hard drive, and then actually disposing physically of the computer.

Naturally, the story included the obligatory interview with a "real live person illustrating this problem." Why it's necessary to waste presumably precious airtime with this idiotic touchy-feely garbage is beyond me, but we all know that NPR loves to do it. Oh, and the female host confessed that she had no idea how to deal with the hard drive--no clue as to how to erase it, no clue as to how to remove it and take a hammer to it. How dumb can you be??? And still be a supposed professional (granted, in the news business, which is not known for its high IQs or high curiosity or high energy level, but even so....)?

The host and the technology reporter offered some suggestions, including "go to our web site for further info", but of course, never said a word about the most efficient, most effective long-range thing a listener could do: go to google and find some software or freeware/shareware that would do the job. There's lots of it available, as well as suggestions as to how to make the hard drive physically unusable--e.g., the hammer solution. Don;'t know how to Google? Practice, practice, practice, and you'll get better.

Anonymous said...

On this morning's "fact check" of Obama's address, I learned that China isn't really committed to energy efficiency like Obama claimed because the power plants they are building run on coal. Now I don't deny that coal-fired power plants are an environmental problem, but they really have nothing to do with the generally-accepted definition of energy efficiency.

War On War Off said...

Wonder if Wan is re-thinking his Jindal man-crush this morning?

Porter Melmoth said...

Oh yeah, National Peep-peep Radio was positively abuzz this morn, jiggle-dancing over Obama's speech last night.

There's a new glee at NPR: that Obama's gonna be pretty big pickin's as far as NPR slop-generation is concerned. Republicans can now be unashamedly coddled and given a forum to pout, as they are now suppressed minority underdogs, and the smirking and bemused condescending from Inskreep 'n Mundane can be flaunted without hesitation.

And GO, DON, GO!!! There goes Don Gone (I used to refer to him with the vulgarism 'Don Gonorrhea', but I needn't stoop to such wordplay any more...), who's ALL OVER THE PLACE doing mop up on Barry's stern oration, having the time of his life. (The Don's speech rhythms still make me barfing-seasick).

And the Reagan comparisons - made, by the way, as if O'Bama could never approach the majesty of the Great Communicator! Well folks, I vividly remember all about the Reagan years (when Baby Stevie and Renaay were still squeaking in their kaka-lined cribs), and that was when I first realized that America as a humanitarian organization was doomed. Romancing over that sick era is something I can't abide. All the seeds of the Bush Dark Age were sown then...

You know, taking a furlough from NPR really gives you a neat perspective. When you resume listening, the stark realization looms: that NPR is about the most rinkydink, stupid-sounding source for information imaginable, with doofus personalities who will never be ready for prime time, populating a front for sinister and contemptible agendas.

Silly me - having to learn that all over again!

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...

Gonyea "hearts" Reagan. This is obvious.

Here's one that almost slipped by me:

NPR now has their journos doing blog punditry on the side. I guess it's not enough that their reports already contain this "analysis."

So, I think we need a new title for the new class of NPR hacks.

1. Class Hacks
2. Jouranalysts
3. Repundits

Anonymous said...

Gonyea "hearts" Reagan. This is obvious.

Gonyea is a parrot.

He parrots the Reagan myths and in a couple years he will be parroting the Bush myths (that Bush "won" in Iraq).

He spent the last 8 years parroting Bush, never questioning anything the man said.

Listening to Gonyea after a Bush press conference was like listening to Bush with a different accent.

That's obvioulsy what Gonyea thinks journalism is all about: parroting.

Where he got that idea is anyone's guess.

artes moriendi said...

Porter, I too have vivid memories of the Reagan years--the jingoism, the mean-spirited triumphalism, the illegal wars, the mindless militarism, the support for murderous regimes, the courting and legitimizing of huckster evangelicals, the public squalor and private affluence--and one of the most dismaying aspects of NPR's reporting today for me is its reflexive, unquestioning view of that era as a sunny time of hope and promise and of the Gipper as a benevolent granddaddy who brought us peace and prosperity. I had noticed NPR's rightward turn as early as the mid '90s, when NPR began airing editorials by David Frum stating that all homosexual relationships were based on "brute lust"; but for me the point of no return was reached during NPR's worshipful, lobotomized coverage of Reagan's death and funeral in 2004. The uncritical eulogies and enthusiastic promotion of the Reagan mythology during that week were truly chilling.

The Reagan love continued a few weeks ago on Fresh Air when Terry Gross followed up her interview with the author of a book critical of the Reagan myth with a conversation with Reagan hagiographer Douglas Brinkley, who was evidently brought on to do clean-up duty and reaffirm the official NPR dogma about Reagan. I thought that that was a most unseemly journalistic exercise that did not reflect at all well well on Gross, who dutifully soft-balled her way through the interview and did her part to help reapply the varnish to NPR's smiling, avuncular portrait of Reagan as peacemaker and folksy sage.

Porter Melmoth said...

Well-remembered, Artes.

History has two interpretations: the reality of the times, and the processing of that reality for later consumption. It is possible for the latter process to link successfully with the first if wisdom and insight are employed. Or manipulative publicizing can sneak in, tweaking reality into propaganda and BS.

UnPR fancies itself as clever enough to attempt 'creative' interpretation of current and historical events, plainly for other reasons than truth-seeking. NPR is so bound up in its own self-created perversion of reality that it hasn't a chance of sorting things out as they really are. There always has to be an 'angle' to the interpretation. That's only one reason why they are a failure as a credible news source.

miranda said...

More Reagan worship on Talk of the Nation yesterday.

Though NeoCon-an is mercifully on vacation, the program talked endlessly about the NON-question of whether Obama's speech was reminiscent of St. Reagan.

Best moment was when a caller, who said she was in California when Reagan was governor and was unimpressed, said she was more interested in talking about how Obama's speech clarified and explained things to the American people.

Only the conservative chattering class continues to be obsessed with Reagan -- the public just wants to know when things are going to get better economically.

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...


Last night on Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Olbermann himself listed many of the conservative commentators who criticized Governor Bobby Jindal's post-presidential retort. Among them, he listed Uncle Juan Williams. Pretty funny, I thought. Of course, UnPR (and the rest of the mainstream, conservative press) will use this as an example of why Uncle Juan is objective or -- gasp -- a leftie, I am sure.

Also, on ME today, Claudia Sanchez has a story about the "debate" about 'No Child Left Behind." And, Sanchez uses high school debaters to illustrate the point that the success of NCLB is still debateable! How clever is that! ACK!


Porter Melmoth said...

More wearisome earnest gobbledygook from Jack-e-you-around Nothing today regarding Pakistan. I heavily rely on Mytwords to sort out her spin. She makes contact with all the big players (including Ahmed Rashid, whom I think is a credible voice), but then she has some Rand Corp 'expert' sum it all up. Pakistan has ALWAYS had an army 'strong man', and she's profiling the latest as if it's a novelty. As the supposed Pak 'expert' she doesn't seem to grasp much of the reality of the region (surprise!). Therefore, she's perfect for the neoconmen and their 'plans', I should think.

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...


I just found your comment on UnPR: "I note they always beg for "something positive" from everybody they have on the show. I guess if they had covered the titanic they would have given 15 seconds to the "facts" and spent 4-5 minutes discussing the light being reflected in the iceberg."




Hubertg said...

Mr Louisiana turned out to be a magnificent spud-o-rama...just exactly what was that?? It was painful to watch. I can't believe that fellow is the governor of a state. Unbelievable !!!

larry, dfh said...

Bob Mondello (film critic) had a story today on the end of New Yorker Films, which was a big distributor of foreign and indie movies. For movie fans, this will turn out to be a really big deal. I would have liked to have heard more on the business aspect of the closing, the why and wherefore, but at least he did talk about a subject that probably will not be covered in the MSM. To the degree that the story was discussed, Mondello at least did what NPR should be doing: reporting on important events NOT in the commercial broadcasts.

Porter Melmoth said...

Yes, the New Yorker Films story was worthwhile. However, the print media is still the best for covering such subjects. Mondello's thing was just impressions (I have some of my own), but I just read an interesting in-depth coverage of the demise of New Line Pictures in - the latest issue of 'Vanity Fair'.

Mondello's segments have been cut way back to mere 'featurette' status on NPR, while they allow far more bozo-quality stories to seep into the main shows.

miranda said...

The only movie coverage I have ever found worthwile on NPR is Andy Trudeau's annual assessment of the Oscar nominees for Best Score.

Movie scores are something hardly anyone in the media pays attention to. This feature is an example of the kind of niche programming NPR could do more of if it weren't so busy shilling for the Pentagon.

groot!roze!verward!konijntje! said...

Pity 'bout New Yorker, first learning of it here (what can I say!). Their home viddy division brought to me some wonderful treasures such as Vigo's 'L'Atalante,' Rivette's 'La Belle noiseuse' & Swedish offbeat tragicomedy 'Songs from the Second Floor.' Uh-oh if Criterion/Janus closes shop as well?...

Like much of No Pontification Refused, what I percieved to be Mondello's smarmy droning was a turn-off and a potential spoiler when reviewing something I actually WANTED to see (but then, aren't most critics?).

And agreed, miranda - there's much more to film scoring than John Williams McBlockbuster orchestrations. Viva Morricone!

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...

Inskeep & Company does a commercial for the petro industry:

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...

NPR's "Hardship Provides Opportunity Series...", by Lynn Neary.

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...

The Bloggers at UnPR's Planet Monkey raise the financial threat level indicator to Super-Duper Red, and one of the commenters busts NPR for recycling 2-week old news from Talking Points Memo. The "R" in UnPR stands for "recycling."

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

Don Gonyea used to be the guy on the "labor" beat til he got named to follow the Chimp around during the 99 primary season.

He determined that he was NEVER gonna go back to the labor beat (or Detroit), and set out to do anything he could--like selling-out such integrity as he still had--to prevent it.

His Bushit sycophancy paid off handsomely, such that I will switch off the program in the first instant I hear his voice.

The problem with NPR is that, though it sucks ass, it is still just a little better than listening to Morning Joe, which I would scoop put my eyeballs with hot spoons before I watched.

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...

Mara Liarrson goes to CPAC and sees absolutely nothing:

Porter Melmoth said...

Miranda and my fine (Dutch?) wabbit:

As someone who's curious about who did the music before who's starring in a given film, I take your point about NPR being a lonely figure in addressing the movie music thang.

HOWEVER! To me, the people doing it are all wrong (!). Trudeau is somewhat knowledgeable, but he is also dismissively inaccurate in many ways. Plus, the vermin in the soup that ruins any possibility of edification is the insipid goop contributed by Auntie Lianne, who is plainly underwater as a foil for Andy.

Sorry for the crustbucket attitude. There are good web resources, like Film Score Monthly, to better satisfy our movie music needs, than EndPR.

(PS: my own blog is film score-friendly, from Alfred Newman to Elliot Goldenthal... and safe from UnPR corruption!)

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...

Porter- I fear that your NPRCheck "yakkings" are taking away for the posts on your own blog. For that, I am eternally thankful. But, what of your own blog audience? -JET

Porter Melmoth said...

Well, my considerate friend JET, my sole audience apparently consists of one multilingual bunny that cheerfully hops by from time to time.

Hubertg said...

Diogenes99...I get the same kind of responses to the letters I send to my Congressman, as you got from NPR.

miranda said...

Well, Port, I never said it was the deepest or best coverage, only that it was interesting to hear film scores excerpted and discussed at all. Most people seem utterly oblivious to film music unless it slaps them in the face.

But pop-culture coverage on NPR in general sets my teeth on edge. Plus, it was pretty obvious to me that "Slumdog"'s score would win, but Trudeau, I think, went for the sappy "Benjamin Button" score.

Even so, I am now resolved to revisit your fine blog, because I enjoy your screeds and don't want the multilingual bunny to be lonely. ;)

!b!f!p!b said...

Happy to lend my meager support, Port. Good for us that you do cross over here for those witty & vital contributions to help boost our collective morale, uNPR hata's & recovering former listeners alike.

And you kin bet yer sweet parakeet that anything you hear from the Nitpickin' Popular Recreationals Culture Dept. has been board member-approved & market-tested to glide right into that special slot for the sort of unthreatening, banal, superficially 'hip' demographic (read "loyal contributors"). True, better to stay with the online specialty sites for recorded-and-filmic literature; their keepers far more PASSIONATE about what they're sharing & possess far better mastery on the subject at hand... as opposed so, say, that faint whiff (or majorly punjent stinkbomb!) of Payola Redux that seems to accompany a typical NoPR edumatainment segment.

Big Guy said...

Has anybody else noticed that whenever Dan Schorr is on Weekend Edition, some person from the Right -- never from the Left -- is also called in to give commentary upon the past week's events?

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

Big Guy, Schnorr was (once, a long, long LONG time ago) considered a liberal.

These days, he just proves that senescence is not ideological..

Anonymous said...

Bobby Jindal was supposed to be a "rising star", but he now appears to be just burnt toast

If he were not so pathetic, he would be comical.

if he is the best and brightest that the Republicans have, then i'd say the rest of us have nothing to worry about.

What a complete loser.