Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Q Tips

Got NPR related comments? Put 'em here.


Porter Melmoth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Porter Melmoth said...

Needless to say, NPR's really getting AROUSED over the Frigid War possibilities surrounding the Iran election. You can almost hear them panting, the slobber gathering on the microphone baffles, the semen dreams gathering in their headphones, the promise of orgiastic triumph.

Oh, but Maw-rah and MeeShill can do a calm sister-act from too-cool NPR HQ about sexless health care, while in the wings awaits phallic thrusting against the nouveau Persian Empire, with Mahmoud Xerxes begging for some US-Studded Assured Destruction from the Homeland Team.

Sorry for the raunchy sexual associations, but porno isn't limited to biological-function prurience.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, did anybody else have the same out of body experience this morning when they heard Steve Inskeep say, "Hey everybody..."

I'm sitting there trying to keep my cereal down thinking, no, he really didn't say sounded like Spanky of "Our Gang" - you know, the old "Hey everybody, let's put on a show!"

In some ways it wasn't far off. Steve-O was introducing a new ME segement called "Open Mic." Open mic on NPR...yeah, now there's an idea I've been waiting for - NOT!

I switched stations real quick. Go to the NPR site to re-hear Inskeep's shtick on this segment.

ME wants to be so cool...but all they do is get lamer and lamer. We already have a "Morning Zoo" station here in Philly. And it's a hell of a lot more funnier and clever than Steve-O and Rene-herself will ever be.

Interesting that the segment is only about an hour old here in the East, and there are already comments up - mostly very negative ones.

Just gimme the news and the facts, without a "zoo" or GOP talking points!!!!

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...

I heard the "open mic" piece too. It is getting panned in the comments section.

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

NPR has become the national "weekly shopper," the one with all the quotes in it from the 6th-grade baseball champions, and the recipe for your aunt's ginger cookies.

In theory, you sell LOTS of copies because EVERYBODY wants to send clips to their Grandparents.

That's NPR's "open mic" crapola. I am SOOOO glad they seem to have abandoned that "I believe" hoohaa, most of which turned out to be schmaltzy advertizing for exceptionalism and status quoism.

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...

A comment I posted on the NPR blog under my new pseudonym, since Juan Ensalada (Toss) was stricken from the "NPR Community".


"NPR would probably receive less negative commentary if they simply included a "NOT RECOMMENDED" button at the bottom of each story. Many other blogs (irrespective of type) offer this simple "thumbs up or thumbs down" approach to blog commentary. It's the way we vote in America, isn't it? Unfortunately, NPR ONLY gives listeners, readers and commentators a "thumbs up" option and a comment box. Let "the public" decide what is good and bad about public radio, NPR. What are you afraid of?

-Vapid Madchen


So from now on, when I leave a comment on the NPR blog, I am going to lead with: "NOT RECOMMENDED".



Porter Melmoth said...

Careful JET, the NPR moles who possibly prowl this blog just might expose your new identity! Congrats for carrying on your mission.

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...


Great advice. However, I have not given them a reason to excise me -- yet. As they say in radio, stay tuned!


PS I have been away on vacation for three weeks, so I am just getting caught up with NPRCheck. As always, MTW's comments are as cogent as ever. As for Porter's humor, the darker the better, I say!

Anonymous said...

Juan Ensalada (Toss) was stricken from the "NPR Community".

I surprised they have not yet ostracised MTW from the community.

You know, the way they did in ancient Greece when they gave someone the ostracon, except in NPR's case it's would the management (and ombotswoman) who decide who gets banished from "The Kingdom the Power and the Glory" (aka, National Paranoia Radio)

From wikipedia:
"In Athens, the voting public would write or scratch the name of a person in the shard of pottery. When the decision at hand was to banish or exile a certain member of society, citizen peers would cast their vote by writing the name of the person on the piece of pottery; the vote was counted and if unfavorable the person was exiled for a period of ten years from the city, thus giving rise to the term ostracism."

Anonymous said...


Just wanted to let you know that I was able to break my NPR News habit while on vacation in your beautiful state. There was no FM radio reception where we were - at least we were told there was only satellite radio service - and every day while doing my apres ski television flipping I seemed to come across Mara or Yawn on Fox News. (One day was a daily double, they both were on!) I got a chance to see how "Foxy" Mara and Yawn truly are - not that I stayed tuned in for long.

Anyway, after a week in the mountains I came home...dare I say it, cured! I didn't need to turn on ME at 6:30 am, or ATC at 4 pm anymore.

Now I work in reverse - I see what MYTWORDS topic is and then go the NPR site. I'm much less angry at breakfast and dinner these days!

Porter Melmoth said...

I remember a wonderful interview with actor/activist Wallace Shawn on Moyers a few years back, during the 800-year Bush Dark Age (speaking of dark, dank humor!). He made a pungent and memorable point when he said that THEY - (i.e. Neocons, Bushists, and most MSM blabbheads - though he didn't mention NPR by name) - those in the media, tend to CHUCKLE their way through their death-and-empire talk. I always remember Wally's comment when I hear static/noise like AAAAdam D., the regal Queen Julie IV (Rovner), and any other NPR Chosen One who condescends upon us with the graceful wit and flawless insights.

Of course, when you're on NPR, you're a powerful influence, and you must act the part. Propaganda isn't for modest, self-effacing wimps.

Anonymous said...

the NPR moles who possibly prowl this blog just might expose your new identity! "


I believe that is actually programmed into the ombot's program.

"Monitor -- and pass along to the CIA -- all information critical of NPR and government propaganda in general. Penalty for failure to carry out the prime directive: "waterboarding until electronics fail"

"I am Ombot. I am perfect. NPR is perfect. NPR can not make mistakes. I am ombot. Criticism of NPR does not compute. NPR is perfect...I am NPR...Does not compute...Ombot... " [smoke appears and explosion into "anti-NPRCheck rant" imminent]

Porter Melmoth said...


"I'm much less angry at breakfast and dinner these days!"

Congrats. It's a cure that works!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Porter. It certainly does work

Unfortunately, I was tolerating it this morning because my wife was up first and had it on. It's still "background" for her. Sometimes I start ranting about a piece and she isn't really listening that closely.

The alarm bells went off this morning as soon as I heard Steve-O's "Hey everybody." I did actually jump across the counter to turn it off.

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

Porter and Anon,

If you were in Colorado over these past few weeks, you no doubt experienced our strange weather of late -- rain, tornadoes, hail and COLD. Too bad for you, since this time of year is generally sunny and mild.

I, on the other hand, spent the past two weeks in Western Spain and Southern France. Don't know which was better, the glorious weather, terrain, food or the people. No NPR for me for two straight weeks; rather, just a bit of the BBC here and there and the local newspapers. Reading La Vanguardia and El País was a bit rough since my Spanish is only functional, but I did OK.

But as you say, as soon as I came back from "holiday" I checked in first with NPRCheck, NOT with Needlessly Pathetic Redundancy. I think your technique is sound: (1) Read MTW, Brian, and the blog comments first, (2) THEN venture to the NPR site for a bit of sport trolling. Like shootin' carp in a barrel.

I too am much happier and healthier as a result. But, maybe that is from all the great, days-long wine drinking I did; Spanish and French Rosés mostly.


Porter Melmoth said...


I can relate to your morning experience. When I used to have NPR on in the morn, my wife was a passive listener. When I'd get mad over some Inskreepiness or Mundanity, she'd ask, 'Why do you turn it on, then?' I could never give a justified answer. But what broke the morning torture cycle was when my loyal hound growled and barked at a particularly excruciating Inskreep Hysteri-Laugh (TM), thus jolting me out of my NPRadiation torpor. Puppy wisdom is not to be underestimated. My hound also has impeccable taste.


The both sides of the Pyrenees visit sounds like dandy therapy. Let the healing begin! Burgos, or, say, Avignon, for starters, are very NPR-Free Zones! I saw 'The Sun Also Rises' last night, when Errol Flynn runs with the bulls in Pamplona, and I didn't think of NPR once!

Recently I was halfway up Mt. Hood at Timberline Lodge and thought: you know, there's a whole wide world out there who haven't heard of NPR, don't want to, and never will. Just a simple truth.

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

I only listen to the first few minutes after the hour, for the headlines, in the morning. Then I switch to the (commercial) classical music station...or the 300-disc cd player...after that I'm on line and can do well without the distraction of shouting and disturbing the dogs.

I wish there were some way I could support the local operations without also sending money to cpb, but i can't, so i just don't anymore...

gopol said...

NPR's listenership of 26M is about 10 times that of prime time cable news, I think. Which makes sense since it's free and you don't have to look at it. It becomes sort of a CIA flavored broth that we all cook in. The news junkies (like, I imagine, many of the readers of this blog) learn to compare and contrast NPR spin in the content of more sober and straightforward news outlets like DN and FSRN to see what's being left out as a way of divining what the MSM overlords would rather we believe. It's like the way Gore Vidal characterized Russians reading Pravda, back in the Cold War era: sort of upside down and between the lines.

What is one to make of this story, for instance: House Panel Questions Lewis On Merrill Merger

Inseep sets it up:

"Ken Lewis faced a room full of skeptics...he was questioned as if he were a suspect."

Yuki Noguchi:
On 9/15 of last year the financial sector was in a freefall. Lehman Bros filed for bankruptcy while insurance giant AIG nearly followed suit. So it seemed either suicidal or heroic when Bank of America stepped in right then to announce it would purchase Merrill Lynch. At the time, Lewis called it an opportunity of a lifetime. It turned out to be a debacle.

"In mid December I was advised that Merrill Lynch had significantly raised its forecast of its losses. We contacted officials with the treasury and the Federal Reserve and informed them that we had concerns about closing the transaction."

...and this is where the real drama begins. Members of Congress wanted to know, did Lewis really not know how bad things were at Merrill? Was he trying to wrangle either bailout money or legal cover from Uncle Sam over a deal gone bad? Also, did government officials, in their desperation to avoid yet another bank bankruptcy, abuse their power by threatening Lewis if he left Merrill at the altar? Emails written at the time show that Federal Reserve officials thought Lewis was threatening to back out of the Merrill deal as a bargaining chip. Ohio Democrat Dennis Kucinich read one such email from a Richmond Fed official in late December.


gopol said...

"Quote, I think he's worried about stock holder suits. He knows they did not do a good job of due diligence. And the issues facing the company are finally hitting home and he's worried about his own job. They're cutting loose lots of good people. Unquote"

Adolphus Townes of New York chairs the House oversight committee and told Lewis, either way, you don't come out smelling like a peach.

"Your claim that you had no idea about Merrill's law suit until December is remarkable. The Fed seemed to think that you are either not being forthcoming about that, or you are completely clueless about the merger and the situation on Wall St."

Lewis admitted he read weekly reports on Merrill's situation, but, he said, no one predicted things could get so much worse late in the year. That's why he said he told government officials he might renege on the deal. The message he got back was that if Bank of America pulled out, he would face consequences.

"The government could or would remove management and the Board."

"So you were pressured."

"It uh, it's hard to find the exact right word to describe what I just described. So what I've found is I've tried to have different words that it's best just to describe it and let people come to a conclusion."

At this point committee members started badgering Lewis. Isn't that a threat? If they told you they'd get you fired? Republican Jeff Flake of AZ:

"If this wouldn't be considered a threat, if I might just ask you, what would be considered a threat?"

"heh heh"

Bank of America ended up accepting $45B in government bailout funds. So, Flake noted, Lewis probably doesn't want to go publicly accusing federal regulators of overstepping their bounds, but

"I don't know if you can wiggle your pinky finger at us, or something to give some sign that..heh..."

Lewis grinned broadly but didn't budge. But this saga is not over. The committee plans to call officials from the Treasury and the Fed to get their side of the story.

{cue compelling acoustic guitar and harmonica}

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...

The old "...either suicidal or heroic when Bank of America stepped in right then to announce it would purchase Merrill Lynch" fallacy. The NPR brillance never seems to fail! Fantastically felatiously fallacious!

gopol said...

Right, Toss, I meant to tick off las palabras propagandas as they occur, starting with Inskeep's ridiculous characterization of "Ken Lewis faced a room full of skeptics...he was questioned as if he were a suspect." That certainly wasn't supported by the Flake interchange.

"So it seemed either suicidal or heroic when Bank of America stepped in right then to announce it would purchase Merrill Lynch." There are words that come to mind when I think of BofA and they don't remotely include "suicidal" or "heroic." wtf?

Kucinich is given some airtime, but only to quote an email. None of Kucinich's commentary or questioning is included. Apparently, just using K's voice is a sufficient placeholder for the "left side of the argument."

Towns is allowed to give him what for, but Lewis gets the last word with "how could anybody have predicted" a la Condi Rice and the story is cast as the government thugs threatening poor little BofA, whose heroic efforts were misunderstood by people who don't understand banking. There was a lot of faded out smirking about how $45B is enough hush money to stop BofA from complaining about "pressure."

I think I got the Lewis quote right:
"It uh, it's hard to find the exact right word to describe what I just described. So what I've found is I've tried to have different words that it's best just to describe it and let people come to a conclusion."

wtf? Isn't that just like saying f off and die?

The final word is that "federal regulators have overstepped their bounds." Just...jaw dropping.

But there's no denying I'm a sucker for this scat-scam. Now I'm on to watching the Frontline episode that covers this bunk.

Final thing: since BofA is an NPR underwriter, doesn't the story need an advisory/disclaimer?

Anonymous said...

Final thing: since BofA is an NPR underwriter, doesn't the story need an advisory/disclaimer?"

The ombot already gave an excuse for that.

BofA is not an underwriter of NPR -- not technically, anyway.

BofA underwrites many member stations around the country, who account for about 60% of NPR revenue, but apparently, the ombot believes that because BofA does not underwrite NPR directly, NPR does not have to admit the funding by BofA.

It seems the ombot actually believes NPR is in the clear both legally and ethically on this issue.

Legally perhaps, but ethically?

Not a chance.

But of course, by definition, ombots have no ethics (or they would not be ombots)

JayV said...

Anyone see On Point today; the subject was highlighting yet another list of "liveable cities."

Here's what I wrote in the comments:

What!?! Only one American city made it to (yet another list) of "liveable cities"? The audacity of these magazines to ignore American cities! Did I detect a bit of shock and horror from Mr Ashbrook? Boo hoo! (I'm so sick of the American exceptionalism of NPR.)

What a ridiculous program, at least for the general listener. Today's program was definitely geared for the elite NPR listner/"consumer" who pledges: The kind of audience who can afford the glitz and glamour sold by your guest from Monocle magazine and travel to the hot spots touted by the travel writer.

I kept wondering whether I was listening to a program on "liveable cities" or a travel show. Don't you know there's a difference between visiting a city on holiday and actually *living* there? Mr Kotkin was the only guest on today's program who made the program interesting; the other two guests were la-dee-dah superficial. I expect better from On Point.

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...


Dissecting NPR claptrap can be addictive; painfully, pathetically addictive. I don't recommended it, but like you, sometimes I cannot help myself.


Liveable cities? Worldwide? I am surprised that there were any from the U.S. on this list. Having just visited Spain and France, I can name about a dozen cities I'd rather live in, and I live Colorado for Christsakes!

Free or cheap, high quality health care, safe neighborhoods, no guns, fewer whacked out evangelicals, curbside recycling, smaller cars, better infrastructure, better schools, smarter people, more leisure time, et al.

I would have thought that the American delusion of being Number 1 would have faded when the U.S. had dropped below the Number 10 in many livability (and other) metrics. Then, I thought the haze would clear when we dropped to below Number 20. I guess because we are so good at infotainment and propaganda, we can continue the self delusion a bit longer.

We're Number 30! We're Number 30!

Welcome to The Matrix.


Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...

I saw this on an NPR post today: "Story Bore". Now why didn't I think of that?

Maybe we should all start an NPRCheck Blog collection of our favorite NPR insults and pejoratives? Just a thought...

gopol said...


Dissecting NPR claptrap can be addictive; painfully, pathetically addictive. I don't recommended it, but like you, sometimes I cannot help myself.

Yeah, you are right. It's a thing I will get over. As it is, I went on to watch the Frontline show - I remember when I used to sort of trust that Frontline was maybe legit. The storyline they've developed for these bankers is truly one of heroism and sacrifice. A jousting of mighty chivalric knights in very tall buildings. BofA comes off as an outsider who was fated to grow and grow until it couldn't help itself but buy the poisoned Merrill Lynch and suffer the attendant infusion of $45B in taxpayer bailout. Rough sledding, no doubt.

No mention of war - that can't be related in any way, can it?

No mention of the deterioration in health, education and welfare in the U.S. - wouldn't be a connection there. No.

No mention of the World Bank, the IMF, China, Europe, East Europe, Russia or Africa. I think the BofA is hermetically sealed from those sorts of bothers. Yeah.

Just captains of finance standing atop the bowsprits of their fabulous ships and doing deeds of redecorating that ordinary men would shrink from.

Grimblebee said...

I'm going to be the devil's advocate here and say that the "Open Mic" piece -- aside from Inskeep's "Hey everybody" intro -- was mildly sweet. At least a touch of humanity among the clowns who generally pontificate. I just wish it were truly open, not just to the types they choose. Like if MYTWORDS could get on there -- now that would be cool!

Here's something I heard the other morning and wondered if anyone else noted -- though now I can't remember more than a few details: Two NPR talking heads, one of whom sounded like Frank DeFord, reading excerpts from editorials in Israeli newspapers (I think).

Great (I thought). Now NPR is a Ken Burns documentary....

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...


Just captains of finance standing atop the bowsprits of their fabulous ships and doing deeds of redecorating that ordinary men would shrink from.

At least until the buildings were attacked by The Crimson Permanent Assurance.


gopol said...


Ah yes, The Crimson Permanent Assurance, and from 1983. Yet, who could have predicted such a turn of events in 2008?

larry, dfh said...

Gopol, I've written about this before, but in the Frontslime, 2 show, 4 hours piece 'Bush's War', two things struck me: first, the work 'oil' was NEVER mentioned, and second, dick cheney was portrayed as really bad. Now, sking rhetorically, who doesn't want the public to think about Iraqi oil (while stealing it for themselves), and has a reason to really dislike dick cheney? A small rogue clandestine outfit from Langley, VA comes to mind.
The show really is a 'Front'.