Monday, September 14, 2009

Q Tips

NPR related comments welcomed.


RepubLiecan said...

This is only slightly off topic since it highlights the hypocrisy and total lack of self awareness that pervades all levels of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

As I spouted on my own blog:

Last night I watched the pledge drive version of the celebration of Pete Seeger's 90th birthday. There were some wonderful performances during this abbreviated version of full concert from Great Performances.

I was particularly struck by the two local hosts/beggars asking for money to support PBS in that self congratulatory way public broadcasting does for the vast range of ideas and cultures they bring to us. Without an iota of awareness, they tout the messages Pete Seeger spent his life talking and singing about, peace, justice, inclusion, worker's rights and the environment, but the only place you will hear these messages is in the entertainment portion of their programming. These ideas are not featured as mainstream or Serious by their news divisions or the commentators at PBS or NPR. When is the last time you heard someone on a public broadcasting news program espouse Pete Seeger's vision for the world?

And I only sampled a very small portion of the begging and self congratulations. It took some nerve to suggest public broadcasting supports a world as Pete might envision it with all they do to undermine it. Pro-war and military/anti-peace activist, pro-Wal-Mart/anti-union, pro-health insurance industry/anti-health care reform, pro-torture/anti-accountability, pro-Israel/anti-Palestinian is their slant on the world. I suppose the local station feels a couple hours a year from someone with the opposite view is going to balance the daily onslaught from their news divisions. That must help them sleep at night.

larry, dfh said...

Well, that is a very good point RepubLiecan. Suckerin' the lefty sympathies. Don't see them offering rides on the 'Clearwater' for a subscription. Free subscription to 'newsweek' or some such nonsense, but never to 'The Nation', or 'Mother Jones'.
My daily npr complaint: monday AM we listened to juan forrero talking up Argentine feedlot-fattened beef. It was instructive in that I didn't realize that the c.i.a. had interests in feed-lot beef. We learned that grass fed (i.e. the way a cow is SUPPOSED to live) beef tastes weird (the way a cow is SUPPOSED to taste-no offense to vegetarians. My wife is from Uruguay, and for the last 25 years she has never liked the taste of U.S. beef.). And like all npr peices, what was missing was much larger and more significant than the story itself: -that MANY types of bacteria, resistant to nearly ALL antibiotics, can be easily cultured from the effluent from feed lots, -that cows are stuffed exclusively with high-energy food which makes them sick (after all, they have the amazing digestive tracts that they have to digest GRASSES, with the occassional seed head, not soybeans and corn),-that many of the antibiotics are given prophylactically, and they kill the gut flora that digest grass, making more nutrients available to the host, -and that many times more antibiotics are given to feed-lot cows than to people, endagering the public health. Also not mentioned is the fact that hoof-and-mouth is practically unknown in Argentina/Uruguay, as the cows spend their entire lives walking, not crammed in pens.
Npr likes to claim that their formats allow them to cover stories in depth, but more often than not, extra time on a story is spent on feel-good misinformation. It was very obvious from the content this piece that there was some business agenda underneath it all.

Steve Hall said...

This is really minor, but has anyone else noticed that many NPR reporters say "Present Obama" or "Pres'ent Obama" instead of "President Obama"? In other words, they leave out the middle syllable of "president."

I'm not a linguist, but it occurs to me that this may be related to the regional accent (I believe Midwestern/Chicagoan) in which "wouldn't" becomes "woulnt" and "didn't" becomes "dint", which I hear a lot on NPR.

I don't remember hearing this when Bush was president. I'm not suggesting that this is an example of partisanship; rather, if it's a real vocal phenomenon (and not just me), then perhaps it's a result of Obama's name having multiple syllables while Bush's only had one.

Has anyone else noticed this?

gopey said...

I notice the prompt to support Democracy Now in the side bar. Yay! Naomi Klein was on today, talking about the Israeli tourism make-over that been propagandizing at the Toronto International Film Festival and the push back against that. Very interesting intersection of culture wars and political wars without any of the fluff that normally accompanies NPR movie coverage. A search for Naomi Klein at NPR produces the most recent hit as an interview with War, Inc. Director Josh Seftel from 4/25/08, wherein Klein is mentioned in passing. I made the mistake of watching that horrid cinematic barf up: you end up cringing for the producers, director, cast and crew with embarrassment at how unfunny and stupid it is. The other hits are from listener commentary.

So how is it that this important best-selling voice is suppressed on NPR? Hmmmm.....

Anonymous said...

"has anyone else noticed that many NPR reporters say "Present Obama...I don't remember hearing this when Bush was president."

I think it is just that they couldn't say "Present Bush" without laughing out loud... because most of the time he wasn't.

he was off in la la land looking for WMD under his couch in the Oval Office (while he wasn't talkinng with God about Saddam Hussein and the neo-Christian crusade to save the world from Islam).

Few people realize what a (religious ) fruitcake Bush actually was.

This is no exaggeration. Just ask French President Chirac

Anonymous said...

I have my doubts about Adam Davidson, but Planet Money's David Kestenbaum is certainly smart enough to notice and comment on what Fortune Magazine Managing Editor Andrew Serwer has noticed and commented on (Casino Capitalism):

I think what happened is that the government has telegraphed to Wall Street, not only Goldman Sachs but the other firms what it was doing, what was going on, what the program was, and so, essentially, it's like telling a Goldman Sachs, "Hey, put your money on 32 Black" at the casino, at the roulette wheel. And the thing spins and lo and behold, where does it end up, Joe?


SERWER: 32 Black.

So, why has Kestenbaum been silent on what is so obvious?

Hint: "card stacking" is one of the essential methods of propaganda.

!big.!pink.!fuzzy.!bunny. said...

Steve Hall, you are right about "the readers'" sloppy enunciation. Even as I restrict myself (mercifully!) to headlines only, I could've sworn that Horsely (I think it was) was taking sloppy-&-rushed-sibilance courses from Ira Glass when locuting "MistaBoma."

Or maybe they just ran out of dark roast in the commissary that morning?