Thursday, July 23, 2009

Q Tips

NPR related comments welcomed.


Anonymous said...

In LBJ Arm-Twisting? Not Really Obama's Style NPR perpetuates the myth that Obama does not employ "arm-twisting" of members of Congress to get what he wants.

"There have never been stories of personal intimidation from Obama," Widmer says, "and most of the persuasion arts that are used at the moment deploy indirect forms — texting, e-mail, phone messages — rather than in-your-face, LBJ-style orders from on high."

Never been stories of intimidation, eh?


What is this if not "LBJ-style arm-twisting"?

From FAIR How 'Adulatory News Coverage' Impedes Democracy
Saturday, June 20th, 2009

Normon Solomon:
Last Tuesday, when the House of Representatives approved a supplemental spending bill for more war in Iraq and Afghanistan, there must have been celebration at the White House. Days of intense arm-twisting paid off.

The Obama administration had brandished the weapon of retribution against the newest Democratic arrivals in the House. Most news coverage seemed oblivious, but not all. As the San Francisco Chronicle reported just hours before the war-funding measure came to the floor, "the White House has threatened to pull support from Democratic freshmen who vote no."

//end Solomon quote

That's not arm-twisting?

Not personal intimidation?

Perhaps LBJ actually literally broke people's arms? (or worse. The guy was a thug, after all)

More generally, Obama has used strong-arm tactics to intimidate entire nations:
How about this one (Obama administration threatens Britain to keep torture evidence concealed) related by Glenn Greenwald?

Normon Solomon's broader point is that most of the media like NPR have basically swallowed the koolaid and do not even SEE this stuff:

"Solomon has several examples--from media failure "to scrutinize the Gulf of Tonkin incident" on up to "adulatory news coverage" of "drastically loosened" financial regulation in the '90s--that demonstrate how, "unfortunately, too many journalists behave as though levers pulled by the powerful are not notable enough to be questioned."

Anonymous said...

Planet Money's idea of recession hardship:

Recession Concession: A Summer Without A.C.

Instead of covering people in bread lines and unemployment lines, they are talking about their own personal "lunch" conversations about they will put the window AC units in this summer (which has actually been relatively cool in many places, anyway).

I guess things are really getting rough for those NPR elites.

Anonymous said...


"Normon Solomon's broader point is that most of the media like NPR have basically swallowed the koolaid and do not even SEE this stuff"

The media (including NPR) have done a great job of convincing Americans that "there's nothing to see here. Please return to your bunkers."

I talk and listen to some listeners/contributors and they really do not see what I (and many of us here)see and hear. For instance:

Alberto Gonzalez was on a show called Tell Me More hosted by Michelle Martin. They were discussing Supreme Court nominee and in the course of the conversation Martin mentioned that Gonzalez might have gone to the Court except for "all kinds of political things". I turned to my friend and asked WTF???? Wasn't Gonzalez involved in torture, illegal surveillance and the firing of the State's AGs. I got a blank stare.

This is not a stupid person and their heart is in the right place but . . . the BS is so pervasive that they absorb the BS through their pores. Orwell said that it was "like breathing" in 1984.

I guess maybe that when I had my car accident I must have hit my head harder than the doctors thought.


dguzman said...

They are so self-congratulatory, too. Yesterday during the ATC "letters" segment, Robert Siegel read a slobbery wet kiss of a letter from someone in Atlanta about Siegel's interview with the AMA head. The letter claimed that Siegel/NPR "did its homework" and didn't let the AMA's false assertions go unchallenged.

Um, yeah -- I heard that interview, and the "examples" that Siegel supposedly gave to challenge the assertions. Not so much, Atlanta dude. If you call Robert Siegel rude interrupting the AMA guy a couple of times, then yes--he challenged him. Otherwise? Not so much.

Anonymous said...

I am beginning to think that the whole "network" is some sort of Oz. The young girl that slimed Hanson. The two junior military academy hopefuls. The use of a student of Shepard's. The fact that one person presented by Shepard had three friends on her facebook account (how common is Innskeep?). The use of paid military shills.

Google is a wonderful invention. Thank god I don't have proper search capabilities (public computer and lack of competency) or maybe NPR's Wizard would be outed. lol


Anonymous said...


Questioning things seems to be an 'all or nothing' phenomenon: either one questions everything or one questions nothing.

Having been educated as a scientist, I learned to question everything.

sadly, many people (perhaps the majority) in this country seem to question nothing.

for the latter group, it quite literally takes a jar to the head to "switch" them into questioning mode. Even that does not work for some.

Anonymous said...

edk says "there's nothing to see here. Please return to your bunkers...I am beginning to think that the whole "network" is some sort of Oz. '

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain...

The most pathetic part of all this is that most of the people at NPR actually seem to believe the BS they spew 24/7. I mean, there might be a couple who actually know it's nonsense, but most have actually drunk (and are drunk on) the government issue koolaid.

Anonymous said...


I came out of good ole MHS in 67 ready to emlist and enrolled in Business adm. I was socialized by Milton Hershey School and then something happened. I had a car accident and was in a hospital for 9 months. I met a nurse there that gave me things to read I'd never heard of before. That was the instant my whole world changed cause I saw lies everywhere I turned. From the War to the use of drugs to economics to . . . You are right about the start of the questioning.


Anonymous said...

By the way.

Does anyone know if there is any familial relationship between NPR's ombudsman intern "Anna Tauzin" and former republican congressman and head of PhRMA (and registered PhRMA lobbyist) "Bill Tauzin"?

Porter Melmoth said...

I noticed that NPR is trying some new, hip stuff. Like 'team reporting', as in, 'two heads have more sex appeal than one'. Adenoid-Andie Seabrook and Peterby Overby were sizing up Max Baucus, making him into a ProCouncil Ripe For Controversy (not that that isn't a possibility). Anyway, this 'two perspective' gimmick was pretty worthless, as it had nothing to offer but two different sexes and their voices.

(PS: I know it's risky commenting on Overby's delivery, but I'm sorry, it is DISTRACTING. He always reminds me of Droopy Dog or some other cartoon character, without benefit of Mel Blanc's voice. Like Tom 'Ewection' Brokaw, he can't help it, but to my mind, the less personality traits the better when straight news is required. Can anyone name more than just a handful of BBC reporters? Probably not. BBC may have its flaws, but they don't breed stars in the news division. That's saved, naturally enough, for their entertainment wing.)

Porter Melmoth said...

(I posted this yesterday, but couldn't resist recycling it, as ATC seemed so comedy-driven yesterday. Perhaps it was the pre-Obama Press Conf jitters...)

AAAAAdam Davidson is a LIAR.

He even admitted it, in an insufferable attempt at comedy, the Planet Moneygrubber freely said he lied to a Palestinian potato chip vendor, saying that his product 'had flavor', and then telling Madelyn Brand-X that he lied to the guy. Good journalistic practice, eh?

I'm not going to try and out-clever A.D. in his new 'Daily Show'-style aspirations in scoring listeners. It just shows how stupid the sophistication level is when NPR puts on its comedy cap. (Blob Siegel did an equally failed attempt at satire with his 'Onion' sketch - in the same hour!)

It seems that NPR is leaning heavily on their Planet Moneygrub connection, to reap big profits from 'Economics. Explained'.

Anonymous said...

Let's not discriminate here:

What about MEEEEEEEESHELL's delivery?

Talk about distracting.

If the mailman took as long to deliver the mail as MEEEEEEEESHELL does to say her name, the US Postal service would go out of business.

Kevan Smith said...

About Anna Tauzin possibly related to Billy Tauzin:

I wonder the same thing. But if she is, so what? "Corruption of blood" has no place in legitimate criticism.

I did check out Anna's blog and such, and she seems to me like a sincere young college student ready to take the leap into media employment.

Anonymous said...

I wonder the same thing. But if she is, so what? "Corruption of blood" has no place in legitimate criticism."

I was the one who posted that question and certainly did not claim "corruption of blood".

I don't even know at this point if there is any relation between the two. that is why i asked.

It was not intended as a criticism, more as a heads up.

Let's face it, while blood relations do not mean similar ideologies (sometimes they mean the opposite), they nonetheless might have relevance.

For example, NPR's ombudsman's office has recently defended NPR's lack of coverage of single payer.

I have no idea if she is (that's why i asked) ,but if Anna Tauzin does happen to be related to Bill Tauzin (head of PhARMA), at the very least, NPR should be disclosing that fact.

It would not necessarily be evidence that she is biased toward PhARMA, but it would nonetheless be a heads up (at least for me).

It might be an indication that one should do further digging.

Similarly, is the Anna Tauzin who works in the ombudsman's office the same as (or related to) the one who is listed as a contact forhere for the Texas Medical Liability Trust?

You are free to differ, of course, but in my mind, these are quite legitimate question to be asking.

Anonymous said...


there is actually one more point I would like to make about the Anna Tauzin issue.

If she is indeed related to former Congressman Bill Tauzin, I think NPR listeners have a right to know that.

NPR is funded (indirectly by money from NPR member stations at least) with public dollars.

I could be wrong, but I'd guess that a lot of very qualified people probably applied for that ombudsman intern job.

Perhaps it is just me, but I want to know if someone may have gotten hiring "preference" at NPR because of their family connections.

Kevan Smith said...

I guess you could always send an e-mail to Miss Tauzin asking her if she's related to Billy.

Anonymous said...

As you can see on her resume, the Anna Tauzin who works as the NPR ombudsman intern has also worked for the Texas Medical Liability Trust.

This may have relevance to the views of the NPR ombudsman's office on the health care issue.

geoff said...

Muckety finds no connection.

Anonymous said...

I guess you could always send an e-mail to Miss Tauzin asking her if she's related to Billy.'

So, how should I put that:

Is your daddy former influential Louisiana politician and head of PhARMA Billy Tauzin?

How do you suppose that would go over with daddy if she is?

If this means anything, I'd have to say I'm interested but I ain't THAT interested.

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

And just how is nepotism is a GOOD thing? (unless you're passing along your humbly hard-won and well-honed trade to your progenitors)


bloop! said...

(mea culpa, subtract an "is" up thar', Bubba)

Kevan Smith said...

First, if Anna is related to Billy, she is more likely to be a niece than a daughter or granddaughter, which is obvious if you read Billy's bio in the congressional Directory.

As far as that letter to Anna goes, I should think a simple "Are you related to former-Congressman Billy Tauzin?" more than adequate..

Anonymous said...

Kevan says RE: she's more likely to be a niece than a daughter.

can't say as I have read the bio (really have no interest), so your logic escapes me, but I can't really see how it would make much difference whether she were a daughter or niece.

But actually, I'm more interested in her having worked for Texas Medical Liability Trust, especially given the NPR ombudsman's "recent attempt to justify NPR's hostility to the single-payer health option" (as MTW has put it)

Kevan Smith said...

Because, you know, an intern is going to be so influential.

Anonymous said...

You're a genius Kevy

Anonymous said...

But the interns are the people (and the only people) that have to read e-mails from people like us. There is a web-site that ranks names in America and how rare/common they are. Tauzin can't be that common so I'll look for the site and I'll write the damn letter asking her if she is related to Billy Bob Tauzin.


Kevan Smith said...

Tauzin is really common here in the Acadian south. It's almost like Boudreaux. Nationally, it's not going to be so common a name.

Anonymous said...

TAUZIN is identified by the U.S. Bureau of the Census as a surname with more than 100 occurrences in the United States for the year-2000 U.S. Census. In "Demographic Aspects of Surnames from Census 2000", the Census Bureau tabulated the surnames of all people who had obtained Social Security Numbers by the year 2000.

TAUZIN ranks # 38644 in terms of the most common surnames in the United States for 2000.

TAUZIN had 538 occurrences in the 2000 Census, according the U.S. government records.

Out of a sample of 100,000 people in the United States, TAUZIN would occur an average of 0.2 times.


Anonymous said...

Here's my "letter" to Anna tauzin

Jul 24, 2009 @ 11:05 am
I was surfing here and I ran across this (and I occasionly get some robo thing from you out of ombud’s office) and it occured to me that you have the same last name as a former Congressman, now head of PHARMA William (Billy) Tauzin. Wondered if you were related?