Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Q Tips

NPR related comments welcomed.


Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...

Tom Gjelten's 3-part energy series is despicable. Today he is on the Diane Rehm show.

Porter Melmoth said...

Yes indeed, Juan. A few comments:

His appearance on the Rehm show proves beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he is an advocate for the natural gas industry. Dismissing any sort of criticism as 'anecdotal', Gjelten's embeddedness with the industry is nothing short of blatant. Several of the callers, especially an attorney in Ft. Worth, provided a wealth of contradictions, to which Gjelten responded with restrained huffiness, which says more than words can in these situations.

What's in it for Gjelten? Realistically, I can only speculate that, if it isn't kickbacks, it's the egotistical notion that he can say, down the road, 'I helped save the nation from oil-dealing Antichrists like Hugo Chavez' - or some such.

This is a cardinal example of corporate forces tapping into the NPR networking system. You can imagine in a given board room, the conversation: 'It is imperative that we get NPR in the loop on this. They have some credible-sounding people there who know how to sell a story. Tom Gjelten's got a gravitas that people respect and don't question. Let's give him a call...'

And Gjelten, good, high-level shill that he is, takes up the cause with enthusiasm.

Superficial note: Gjelten is well within my list of NPR-niks who are officially difficult to listen to. That over-serious, dry voice has 'constipation' written all over it. He should go back to the toilet and finish now what he couldn't finish then.

David Holmquist said...

I was stunned when I heard Part 1, with his credulous implication that fracting is destined to be the solution to America's energy problem.

Not a mention of the water requirements for this revolutionary new techo-fix, the addition of undisclosed chemicals used in the drilling solutions, the contamination of water supplies, the gas seepage into domestic wells and water systems ... in spite of the fact that there's been considerable attention to these issues in the progressive press and in the courts.

Can't wait to hear Part 3, where Gjelten is going to tell us how the industry is handling its lobbying effort and management of the "environmental concerns."

Anonymous said...

They are trying to sell the idea of fracting in upstate New York. This kind of reporting sells lies.

Porter Melmoth said...

David, in the Rehm show, those and many other issues were brought up by other guests and callers, to which Gjelten and the company men stonewalled.

But Gjelten & Co. bank on the fact that the audience who listen in detail to these talk shows is only a fraction of those who catch the PR package on the ME and ATC drive hours. It's all very slick and calculated.

Another Gjeltinism thought: beware those who are aggressively sober in their presentation. The Becks and Coulters are easy for the opposition to brand as 'over the top', while the wily Gjeltins are getting much more done in their quieter 'establishment' ways. Just like Cheney did, all those years before and during his presidency.

And Gjeltin's resume is there for all to see, if we choose. From his NPR bio:

"His new book, Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba: A Biography of a Cause (Viking), is a unique history of modern Cuba, told through the life and times of the Bacardi rum family. Since joining NPR in 1982 as labor and education reporter, Gjelten has won numerous awards for his work. His 1992 series "From Marx to Markets," documenting the transition to market economics in Eastern Europe, won an Overseas Press Club award for "Best Business or Economic Reporting in Radio or TV." (quote courtesy of NPR)

Talk about an agenda! I suppose his next book will be: 'Unjustly Ripped Off: How The US Lost Cuba Because Hyman Roth Was Kicked Out'.
(To non-'Godfather' fans: Hyman Roth was a mob leader who was exploiting pre-Castro Cuba via underworld activities. His character was based on multiple real life mobsters. How could Bacardi NOT have been involved??

Porter Melmoth said...

During the Rehm show, Gjeltin, in the face of considerable opposition, reverted to the old maxim that Bob Moses used when he was ruthlessly transforming NYC into an automobile-dependent metropolis: 'to make an omelet, you gotta break eggs.'

The dignified Gjeltin didn't use such coarse words of course, but his wussy 'rebuttal' used the same damn theme.

Porter Melmoth said...

Gjeltin makes me think: Public Relations is a craft, not an art, and sometimes you don't even need to know how to operate a soldering iron to effect proper attachment of wires in order to make a communication network operative.

David Holmquist said...

Porter, I'm not naive ... I was stunned because his take on the story was so totally detached from reality.

I haven't listened to Rehm yet, but here's a recent example of critical coverage from ProPublica:

The crucial question with fracking is its use of, and effect on, fresh water supplies. If Gjelten, or anyone else, thinks that "to make some electricity, we gotta foul a little water," then he's not just an irresponsible journalist, he's a suicidal fool.

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...


I am happy to say that Tom Gjelten is being soundly drilled (up the...) in the NPR comments section for Parts 1 and 2. Some comments are even mentioning his appearance on the The Diane Rehm Show. I can't wait for Part 3 on NPR, either tomorrow or Friday.

Please find links to NPR's Propaganda below:

Part 1, "Who's Looking At Natural Gas Now? Big Oil," from 09/22/2009.

Part 2, "Rediscovering Natural Gas By Hitting Rock Bottom," from 09/23/2009.

The Diane Rehm Show, "Natural Gas," from 09/23/2009. Windows Media Stream.

This show includes National Security Reporter (NPR Energy Intern) Tom Gjelten and industry hacks with whom he is clearly embedded.

I encourage many of you to listen and comment before NPR cuts off discussion on the boards.


Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...


Sorry, but I inadvertently swapped the links for Parts 1 and 2.


Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...


Here is the link to Pacifica's Democracy Now! for a comparison to National Propaganda Radio. "Fracking and the Environment: Natural Gas Drilling, Hydraulic Fracturing and Water Contamination,", from September 3, 2009.


big!pink!fuzzy!bunnybarf! said...

Oh, that frackin' frackin' Jello-Brain.

Nice goin' at pledge drive season.

(bunny barf)

Archtype said...

Archtype said...

I think it would be cool to have this as a permalink on the main page:

Porter Melmoth said...

One corporate hand washes the other...

gulpy said...

I heard that frackin' piece of crap report. They suck you in with the promise of an elixir: a wonder cure for energy - and you're sitting there in your underwear thinking, holey cheeses, mutter of merry, this is like sliced bread all over again! Finally a reprieve from the gods of plenty! - and then the elixir turns out to be a poisoned pill you can swallow with a hand grenade.

I remember when there was a fire in the new down-town dominating office building in Binghamton, NY and Hugh Carey (NY Governor at the time) said he would drink a glass full of PCBs to demonstrate what pussies everybody who was afraid of this poison (essentially, Agent Orange) was.

I'd like Gjelton to gulp down well water from a fracked well and see what kind of elixir that is. Carey ended up backing down when it was reported that such a concoction would kill him within an hour or so. Gjelton, we can hope, is made of sturdier stuff, and will gulp the quaff with elan.

Anonymous said...

What energy companies that underwrite NPR stand to benefit from Gjelten's propaganda?

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...

Peter Overby ices NPR's 3-layer cake about natgas today.


This morning’s ME report “What's Race Got To Do With It? by Debbie Elliott” was another of NPR’s typical “Forrest Gump” style reporting on race, historically illiterates, naïve, and willfully over looks past behavior, context, and oh, maybe the facts.

Thanks NPR, . . . if a bunch of conservative white middle age men in a dinner in a small Alabama town say there's no racism involved in the Right’s dishonest attacks on our first Black President, that's good enough for me!

Heckling our first Black President, does not prove you’re a racist, but “YOU MIGHT BE A RACISTIST IF you heckle America’s first Black President and:

-You're a member of the Sons of the Confederacy;
-You’re a Strom Thrumon protégé/former staffer;
-You’ve previously publicly attacked and later apologized for verbally assaulting Sen. Thurmond’s black daughter for coming forward after his death;
-You’ve defended the flying of the Confederate Battle flag in opposition to civil rights;
-You’re dishonestly race baiting against "illegals" getting health care and welfare.

THEN you might just be a racist, (even though that’s not good enough evidence for NPR).

Am I the only one, who's not surprised NPR has given Congressman Wilson on his past racist behavior? After all, NPR didn’t think Sen. George Allens m@c@c@ statement wasn’t racist? (NPR’s filter is smarter than its reporters.) and didn’t think Rev. Falwell segregationist past was worth noting in any of it bios and obits.

NPR: A proud GOP memory hole, “Dog whistle? What dog whistle?”

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...

NPR's reasons for producing a 3-part propangand piece for the NatGas industry became completely clear for me this morning when I visited the NPR website to hear the last installment. What did I see on the front page of the NPR site before I even searched for the storu but this:

"The source of of wind and solar energy depends on natural gas. EUREKA! >Discover more. AMERICA'S NEW NATURAL GAS: cleaner, smarter energy." Copyright ANGA.(Become and NPR Sponsor)

Then, I opened another browswer tab, went to the NPR site and saw this.

"Natural gas is twice as clean as coal. And more efficient. EUREKA!>Discover more. AMERICA'S NEW NATURAL GAS: cleaner, smarter energy." Copyright ANGA. (Become and NPR Sponsor)

EUREKA INDEED! How apprpropriate that Peter Overby, Correspondent, Power, Money and Influence, Washington Desk, who has been (according to his NPR bio) "...taking NPR listeners behind the scenes of American Politics, where money is raised and deals are made..."

Is it too surreal to expect that after NPR asked him to do public relations for NPR that NOW he can put on his investigative journalist hat to find out how the ANGA actually BOUGHT its positive coverage?

NPR embeds journalists with NatGas,

RepubLiecan said...

Re: Grumpy Demo's comment on Elliot's piece about racism.

Andy Borowitz beat her to it with a prescient and humorous "report" on Monday.
Criticism of Obama 'Not About Race,' Says New Poll of White People

Who would have thought?

WarOnWarOff said...

His new book, Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba: A Biography of a Cause (Viking), is a unique history of modern Cuba, told through the life and times of the Bacardi rum family.

Watched "Our Man In Havana" a few weeks back. I imagine Gjelten must have the narrative genius of a vacuum cleaner salesman!

larry, dfh said...

i don't know if this is a valid complaint, but it seems a little fishy to me that a pulic station is buying a competitor. Is the fact that they are flooded with public funds keeping other potential bidders away? Not that I like commercials, au contraire, I just get kind of queasy thinking about some macher at npr closing in for the kill using someone else's money.

David Holmquist said...

re Tom Gjelten's natural gas story:

America's Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) is ubiquitous in the promotion of this story.

I downloaded the podcast of Wednesday's Diane Rehm Show, and guess who the sponsor was!!

"Working to inform the public about the environmental and economic attributes of America's new natural gas. Learn more at"


big!pink!gassy!bunny! said...

Whoo lordy, what'z that smell?

Anonymous said...

Whoo lordy, what'z that smell?

It's the smell that accompanies a rehming of the wazoo with gelatin, naturally!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the Defund ACORN act could be used to shut down NPR:

According to Ryan Grim
The congressional legislation intended to defund ACORN, passed with broad bipartisan support, is written so broadly that it applies to "any organization" that has been charged with breaking federal or state election laws, lobbying disclosure laws, campaign finance laws or filing fraudulent paperwork with any federal or state agency. It also applies to any of the employees, contractors or other folks affiliated with a group charged with any of those things.

-- end of quote

Do any of those apply to NPR?

Well, propaganda is a fraud and Congress has strictly forbidden the use of public money for propaganda purposes, so technically, I'd say NPR meets the standard set by the defund ACORN act.

Anonymous said...

Does a anyone know why fiscal year 2007 is the last (and only) year for which NPR has listed donors?

Is NPR breaking any law by not providing an up to date list?

Anonymous said...

It's funny.

I noticed that there is now a "Monkey See" (pop culture blog) link on NPR's home page right next to the "Planet Money" (pop goes the weasel blog) link.

I wonder if someone at NPR is a secret NPRCheck fan.

Anonymous said...

Robert Smith channeled his inner Juan Forero and reviewed Oliver Stone's Chavez film "South of the Border" this evening. Can't let their listeners forget that Chavez is a thug/communist/little South American Hitler/authoritarian buffoon, even for a moment.