Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Q Tips

NPR related comments welcomed.


Porter Melmoth said...

I actually did a bad thing yesterday. I left the radio on after dashing Jack Speer's Selected Headlines.

Nina 'Tiger Beat' Totenheimer was enthusing about something Supreme, and then...came that voice. 'Her' voice. Sullen, tough, 'experienced'. Anne of Green Zone Garrels, tracking down another badass story!

Today, from darkest Russia, Annie's old stomping grounds, on the blackest of seas. And, upon presenting herself in the coastal town of Sochi, they WERE SURPRISED TO SEE HER. Well, when one's ego precedes them, it ain't no surprise, Garrels.

Anyway, she was strolling around, picking the place apart, implying what a bunch of losers live or recreate there (Putin and his 'buddies', not to mention the locals themselves), and how pathetic they are for thinking they can actually stage some Olympics there. Who the f%#* does she think she is, Lauren F%&*ing Bacall, and Bogie waiting for her back at the bar, with a Stoli in hand? Even Gwen Thompkins is not so spittingly condescending when she is amongst the peasant classes. But Annie's a diehard Cold Warrior, and we'll need her again some day.

Then there was that People Magazine-style story of the couple who were slumming for Fidel. People you'd 'never think' would be spies!

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

the couple who were slumming for Fidel.

were the grandson of Alexander Graham Bell (a canadian, btw) and his bride of 50 years, who grew weary of the transparent hypocrisy and the pretense of Murkin "democracy," and fell in love with the Cuban Revolution.

Not with Fidel, but with the Revolution itself, and its successful resistance to the Mighty Neighbor To The North.

You know, with universal literacy, and universal health care, and green farming techniques, and like that...

Dirty fucking hippies!!!

Porter Melmoth said...

Yup, NPR loves these oh-ick! stories about traitors - especially Cuban-oriented ones. What WERE they thinking??

And these supposedly 'learned' NPR-niks probably haven't heard of Wilfred Blunt, the Queen's official adviser on paintings, who did a bit of gentleman spying for the Soviets, along with Philby & Co. Someone YOU'D NEVER THINK was a spy.

Like AAAAdam Davidson, chuckling his way through his money 'explanations' because he's so goddammed clever, NPR picks and pokes at icky-poo stuff, so as not to disrupt the Reagan Era sense of conforming they so devoutly believe in.

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


NPR = Nonstop Praising Reagan

these people on NPR, like "thePrez" grew up loving 'the gipper,' and idolizing 'the great communicator.' By the time they're old enough to have some perspective, it will already be to late, by some 20 years...

Porter Melmoth said...

Yessir Woody, we old cats have the benefit of perspective, which we aim to put to some use.

I DID enjoy RayGun in two specific pictures, 'King's Row' (but mostly because of Korngold's score), and 'The Santa Fe Trail' (but mostly because of Flynn & DeHaviland - and Max Steiner's score). Aside from that, he should've worked in a hardware store or an auto parts shop or something after Hollywood grew tired of him.

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


That line from King's Row, when he looks down where his legs should be?

"Where's the REST of me?"

I thought it should be the title of any Raygun biography...

a thought: if "Scott roeder" spelled his name "Ali Mustaffa," and his victim had been, say, an aggressively Zionist rebbi, instead of a quietly efficient Lutheran abortionist, who talked about his compatriots and sympathizers getting ready for similar deeds, do you think there would be significantly more FBI interest in the fellow's claims?

miz miranda said...

"Where's The Rest of Me?" by Ronald Reagan.


"King's Row" was a very dark movie. So was the Reagan presidency. The unveiling of that statue and the accompanying hagiography was truly nauseating.

Porter Melmoth said...

Absolutely, 'King's Row' looked at the dark, venal, and NEOCON side of the human condition, distilled in a small town. NPR would never have the guts to do the same, almost 70 years later.

Too bad RayGun's upper half wasn't the half missing.

Porter Melmoth said...

"do you think there would be significantly more FBI interest in the fellow's claims?"

'Muricans cannot conceive of the fact that there can possibly be 'Murican terrorists.

Timothy McVho??

JayV said...

Thing is, I'm usually in the car, concentrating on the road - and what's being said on NPR requires me to take it in and then....if I hear something that infuriates me, I have to go home and listen again on-line (taking notes). It's sad that every time I listen to an NPR story/commentary, I'm thinking at the same time, "Should I believe this, or not?"

Porter Melmoth said...

You're not alone, JayV:

Perhaps you've heard of the Noam Chomsky story, when he got a ticket for going 60 in a 35 zone, because he was so mad about what he was hearing on NPR. True story.

Flávio said...

OMG!, Port--could you document the Chomsky anecdote? It is so delicious! Give me a link or a bibliographical reference.

I am a fan of Chomsky's, and I have at least one family friend who is a friend of his, and I hope to meet him and talk to him before I die (although, gulp!, the guy is such a hypercranium, I don't know why I wish to meet him when I would probably be at a loss for words...)

I totally identify with JayV.

Gosh! How many times have I come close to taking a mallet to my German Grundig radio in an access of righteous rage.

But I hold back... It's not the radio's fault. It is a good radio from the pre-internet days, and I still listen to shortwave broadcasts from all over the world on it.

Before the internet thingy, the only way you could get "the rest of the story" was by turning on my shortwave radio--it's in fact how I learned three foreign languages (French, Spanish and Italian), in besides my native Portuguese and English (Portuguese and English are the first two languages I learnt).

(Thankfully, I learned English when I was 8 years old, and not later. What a bear of a language! How un-phonetic, capricious and nonsensical! And yet, I do love it...)

NPR needs serious reform, though, and I am glad, so very glad this blog exists.

And though I am between jobs right now myself, and I think unemployment sucks, and I don't wish it on anybody, I will say many NPR reporters/readers/hosts, etc., should really consider changing jobs.

Since they're so enamored of the Washington think-tanks, they should try for jobs at the American Enterprise Institute, Brookings, Inter-American Monologue (hat-tip to Borev.net), the John Birch Society, the CIA, etc., what can I say?

By the way, on a cold Wisconsin night, I prefer a Porter beer... It is unbeatable!

WarOnWarOff said...

Met Chomsky *very* briefly after a talk he gave in Austin many years ago. A bunch of us gathered around him, including a rather attractive woman who asked him to her place for "dinner." He respectfully declined in such a decent and sweet way that I just fell in love with him.

Porter Melmoth said...

The Chomsky anecdote was, I believe, from a Democracy Now! interview. Try searching their website. I think it was about halfway through when he mentioned the NPR thang. Amy Goodman, elegant straight arrow that she is, didn't need to do a followup question - Chomsky had more than made his point. It might have been at a talk he was giving - not sure. Anyway, I think a link exists earlier on this very website - sorry to be vague.

I can imagine that Noam's got groupies of rockstar proportions - deservedly so.

- Flavio, indeed I think we all struggle with English, eh? It is a remarkable mongrel though, I think it is mutating into the world's first truly international language. I've spent a lot of time in India, and English, colonial product that it is, is nevertheless a remarkable glue that has all sorts of wonderful effects. A speaker of Malayalam in the south can debate issues with someone from Assam - in English.
Anyway, good luck with the job search. As for this Porter, a good hearty porter is welcome anytime!

Porter Melmoth said...

Yes, I heard part 2 of Garrels' assessment of the Russian town of Sochi. I won't rattle on, but I wonder, where was she in covering Boston's Big Dig debacle?

I've praised other NPR reporters, such as Phil Reeves because, Reeves can be in an Indian slum and exhibit no judgmentalism whatsoever. Ofeibia Quist-Arcton recently gave a postmortem on Gabon's Omar Bongo, but again, without any NPR-style twisted baggage.

A long time ago, NPR bigwigs obviously issued a mandate for their on-air hacks to SEX UP whatever it was they were covering. That's why Garrels is still on the beat, because she sexes it up. That's why her scrawny ass wasn't fired over the infamous Iranian torture blowjob.

Mytwords said...

Re: The Noam Chomsky remark.

In January of 2007 I sent Noam Chomsky the following email:
"Dear Professor Chomsky,

I write a blog, NPR Check, monitoring NPR.

A couple of my readers mentioned your quote on Democracy Now, Dec 19, 2006:
"I was driving home from work the other day and torturing myself by listening to NPR. It's kind of a masochistic streak I can't get over. Actually, some day I'm going to sue them. Once they got me so angry I started speeding. I lost control of what I was doing and I was stopped by a cop and I was going like 60 miles per hour in a 30 mile zone. Maybe a basis for a civil suit if there are any lawyers around here."

I'm a great admirer of your political work and would love to use part of that quote on my blog. Would that be all right?

He replied as follows:

"OK, since it's already on the air, as an aside in a talk.

You might also add, if you like, that I may have the honor of being the only person declared to be inadmissible to "All Things Considered," by co-host Robert Siegel, in print, so therefore usable. You can find out details, if you are interested, from David Barsamian, barsamian@riseup.net. He's written about it, and would have the reference and evidence.

There have been other amusing episodes over the years."

Thought you all might get a kick out of reading this.

Porter Melmoth said...

You made our day, Mytwords! Bravo!

Chris said...

Diane Rehm had Pete Peterson on for the second hour of her show this morning. It was a lovefest, even though they were talking about politics. The only semblance of balance provided to the fiscal scold point of view (so in vogue among conservatives now that a Democrat's in office, but nowhere to be found in the Bush era) was a question Diane asked Peterson about single-payer health care (no follow up to his stupid answer though). Also, angry comments by listeners pissed that a fat cat would lecture them about fiscal responsibility were aired at the end, and Peterson was asked where he was during the spending glut of the Bush admin. He explained that he was "on the record" opposing fiscal irresponsibility and said he was in favor of temporary tax cuts, not permanent ones. Now that Obama's in office, however, he has an institute that is spending a lot of money on a new campaign to propagandize young people, who the fiscal scolds are counting on to gut entitlements. Digby talked about the Peterson Institute yesterday: http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2009/06/let-games-begin-by-digby-as-you-all.html

Basically, Rehm portrayed Peterson not as a political lobbyist marshaling huge resources for the upcoming health care and entitlement battles, but as an objective, dignified expert on economic matters. What's worse, his upbringing by a poor Greek immigrant who "pulled himself up by his bootstraps" was discussed, the intention being to bolster his credentials as someone respecting the fiscally responsible life, unlike those unclean welfare queens and dirty hippies. I felt so relieved at the end of the show to hear one of the best callers I've heard passionately attack Peterson for daring to be a spokesman for the interest of workers like him. It was glorious, until Rehm and Peterson reacted to the caller by agreeing that his anger was a political problem for those of us Serious, noble elites trying to address the deficit. What gall. They really feel like they're the ones that own this country.

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

Diane Rehm is a dripping, reeking, suppurating slag. She is the living. breathing exemplar of the "center-right concensus." I wouldn't cross the street to listen to her breathe her last. The local NPR outlet picked up her show when Never Provoke Repukes dropped Day-To-Day. I wrote complaining, loudly, and was ignored (duh!)...

Maine Owl said...

Our local affiliate picked up a 1-hour replay of Rehm. Listeners were allowed to write in their preference between D.R. and Conan the Barfbarian broadcast for a while on alternating days. I don't disagree that D.R. is a center-right mouthpiece, but she's a damn sight better than the smug, smarmy Conan if those are your only two choices for 2-3pm. That said, I do hate her worship of business gods, and her habit of "balancing" rational, semi-progressive voices with outrageous doctrinaire conservatives.

WarOnWarOff said...

Loved Digby's comment that...

The only correct response to this nonsense is for AARP to launch a "We're Moving In With You" campaign, designed to show young people what will happen if the Peterson Foundation succeeds in mucking around with social security.

jus' b! said...

If I may tack one onto the Chomsky thread:

It was around 1998 when my "hometown public radio station" (as it had liked to deem itself) cut D. Barsamian's "Alternative Radio" (which I came to learn was distributed FREE to stations and where I was basically first introduced to NC) from its lineup that I found the wheels starting to come off for my enthusiasm to yearly membership renewals. And so down and down it dissatisfyingly vortexed until the great day I found this helpful "support group" who showed me that it's really okay to tune out & turn off.

"My name is Bunny and I'm in recovery from N(obody) P(robes) R(epublicans)"

PS: And saints be praised that I missed MG Garrulous' latest round of imperialist bicep flexing as (as per above Port Huntley Muskag tip)!

miranda said...

I agree with you, MaineOwl. I've always had a soft spot for DR, probably because she soldiers on despite her voice impairment, and her questions seem sincere, if not exactly incisive.

I think of her as a slightly dotty aunt with vaguely liberal leanings. The booking on her show is dreadful, and I wonder how much she has to do with it. If you think she's bad, try listening when Steve (Mr. Cokie) Roberts hosts, or Susan Page. Zzzzzz!

Now, Conan the Barfbarian...unspeakably loathsome.

Flávio said...

Thanks, MYTWORDS! You made my day, too. In fact, when I laid eyes on the quote, I remembered the show and the quote.

Super thanks.

And thanks, Port. Your comments are always so insightful.

Porter Melmoth said...

Whew - I located the Chomsky segment on the Democracy Now! website (search at site: 'From Boliva to Baghdad' or: http://www.democracynow.org/

Savor it!

Maine Owl said...

On D.R., I poked around a little after posting and discovered she had been dinged during the public broadcasting Tomlinson "guest grading" scandal of 2005. Center-right guests like Robin Wright were "graded" liberal by highly ideological conservative contractors hired secretly by pro-Bush operative Tomlinson, who for a period help the post of CPB Chairman of the Board. I never could figure out why certain public broadcasting outlets like Rehm, NPR, and Moyers are such lightening rods. These range from small admission of leftward views to practically none. What are they afraid of?