Saturday, April 11, 2009

Slow News Friday

It was a particularly bad day to listen to NPR this Friday. We got 4 and 1/2 minutes on the ongoing search for prime numbers; almost seven minutes devoted to an R&B gospel group; a surprisingly long interview with a tax preparer explaining that business is brisk this time of year; a few minutes in anticipation of the presidential puppy; and, of course, continuing in-depth coverage of the Masters golf tournament at Augusta. (Although I must admit this last one was marginally less painful than Tom Goldman's interminable article Thursday on the greenness of the grass at the Augusta golf course.)

Don't get me wrong, I understand that ME and ATC are magazine shows, and not every article needs to be hard news (although I suspect many readers of this blog would argue that ANY hard news would be an improvement). Also, I completely understand there is such a thing as a slow news day, when editors fall back on long, boring filler pieces.

I only bring it up because over the past week, NPR has devoted some relatively large chunks of time to allowing corporate CEO's to present their propaganda, unimpeded by opposing view points. On ATC Thursday, Robert Siegel gave us eight and a half minutes of unchallenged happy talk from Wall Street brokers, including Bank of New York Mellon CEO Robert Kelly explaining how un-toxic and yummy those toxic assets really are for America. ME's Renee Montagne gave Chrysler vice chair Jim Press several minutes to give a commercial for the federal bailout for his company.

If NPR were having such a hard time finding news to fill the time, they could have given a few measly minutes to some of the myriad other voices on these issues, folks who have been working to expose and dispell the spin of these corporate CEOs. The options are almost endless, of course, but as an example they could try Dean Baker at the Center for Economic and Policy Research or the auto industry watchdogs at Public Citizen.

Taking the cake, ATC gave us almost 9 minutes of Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein defending executive pay and the Wall Street bailout. This one was particularly maddening because the article opens by explaining that a recent speech by Blankfein was interrupted by people protesting the billions of dollars in bailouts that Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street companies have received. If NPR has so much time to kill that they can offer us two and a half minutes on how spring is a good time for spring cleaning, they could have at least given a few seconds to these protestors.

One last thing, to be clear, I liked the R&B gospel singers just fine. But seven minutes...?!!!

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

"folks who have been working to expose and dispell the spin of these corporate CEOs. The options are almost endless, of course, but as an example they could try Dean Baker at the Center for Economic and Policy Research or the auto industry watchdogs at Public Citizen."

or how about Nobel Prize winning economists Joe Stiglitz and/or paul krugman?

To say nothing of William Black, who probably knows more about how to recognize brank fraud and how to clean up after it than ANYONE else on the planet.


Of course, Black will never receive more than a passing mention (if that) on NPR or anywhere else in the CORRUPT mainstream media.

That NPR has not covered his charges of "massive bank fraud" and "lies" by Geithner et al is very telling.

See
this interview, for example

It's not simply a matter of NPR's not being aware of Black's charges. NPR is making a conscious choice NOT to cover his charges because they know it will offend some of their underwriters and offend the Obama administration.

Make no mistake: These people at NPR are using the public airwaves and public funds to PROPAGANDIZE in support of the Obama/Summers/Geithner toxic waste bailout plan, which Joe Stiglitz has called "robbery of the American people".

The people at NPR are not only guilty of GROSS negligence in NOT covering this but what they are doing essentially amounts to aiding and abetting a fraud against the American people.

I sincerely hope that when all is said and done, the American people hold them accountable and shut down this disgusting propaganda outlet once and for all.

These people (epecially at NPR's Planet Money) are most certainly not journalists. in fact they are quacks who have NO CLUE whatsoever what journalism is about.

Mary Jane said...

I listened to a little of WE today, and at the beginning, I heard SS shift into his "big boy" voice, his playing-grownups voice. Subliminally I knew that, but then realized all of the other roles he assumes, and how he calibrates his voice for them - the "I'm sympathetic voice," "I'm appealingly silly voice," et. al. All of them so phony, paired with an unappealing personality - yuk. More and more the weekend shows especially are about the personalities of the hosts, which would be ok if they were people I'd want to know.

gopol said...

Anonymous, But what if mommy and daddy know that there is no Santa Claus and aren't telling us because they love us and don't want to break our credulous hearts? Why fluster the already over-worked and under-schooled tax payers ("and listeners like you") with news that their toil at the wheel is all for naught and that they may, by a cruel turn, be broken on another wheel: the banksters' printing press.

Occasionally they'll be forced by, what's the term of art for this, the blatancy of omission? Such as the protest at the Summer's speech the other day, which may have missed if you blinked an earlobe.

Kevan Smith said...

I read the funniest comment on Media Matters that seems to apply here: "I'm sorry, but the media won't be able to cover... that ...... They're only on the air for 24 hours every day. They just don't have room for it."

larry, dfh said...

Does the host of weekend atc have editorial discretion? I absolutely can't believe what didn't fill an hour this afternoon. Does the absolutely devoid of content programming come from cokie's devoid of personality daughter, or is she just chosen by mgt as the right bimbo to read the script?

gopol said...

Larry, Darn - I missed it entirely {insert/"face_of_surprised_hurt_regret.jpg"}

I decided to ride my bike to grocery so I wouldn't be tempted by that damned dashboard number thing...89.3...which once garnered the sort of favor where I'd call in to be a listener like me. Not for many a moon, though...

GRUMPY DEMO said...

Just to make it even sorrier, five US soldiers were killed on Friday by a single IED, it only warranted ONE story versus the almost wall-to-wall coverage of the Somali Pirate threat story.

http://www.npr.org/search.php?text=Truck+Bombing+Kills+5+U.S.+Soldiers&sort=DREDATE%3Anumberdecreasing&aggId=0&prgId=0&topicId=0&how_long_ago=7

Sad.

I wonder how many U.S. Troops have to die in Iraq, 6, 8, 10 for NPR to notice?

I guess the last person to die for Bush and the GOP's mistakes and lies, won't be covered by NPR.

Anonymous said...

This one was particularly maddening because the article opens by explaining that a recent speech by Blankfein was interrupted by people protesting the billions of dollars in bailouts that Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street companies have received."

Many people are aware of the fact that Goldman Sachs got $10 billion in bailout funds directly from the government.

But something that most people are probably NOT aware of is the fact that Goldman got paid nearly $13 billion, essentially by bailout dollars "funneled through" AIG.

So, effectively, goldman got a grant for 13 billion from the federal government.

They would almost certainly have taken that $13 billion as a complete loss without the federal bailout of AIG.

if organized crime were doing this, it would be called money laundering.

but wait. This is organized and it is a crime (Robbery of the American people). So it is organized crime, so let's call what is being done here by its proper term: money laundering.