Thursday, October 22, 2009

Q Tips

NPR related comments welcomed.


larry, dfh said...

Just a few nearly contiguous examples examples from comments @ Eschaton. Out of the blue, in reference to the john stossel desk rearrangement:
Someone should point out to Scot Simon that there's no room for him at the FOX stables with these A list hustlers getting a room there. That goes for the rest of the FOX farm team at NPR. They've filled their quota of NPR whores at FOX.
Anthony McCarthy | 10.20.09 - 9:41 am
I detest Scott Simon.
little tragedy | 10.20.09 - 9:42 am
and finally
Thanksgiving is coming! It's time for Susan Stamberg's Gramma's Cranberry-Horseradish Surprise!
plantsman, mad google skillz

Obviously the readers of this blog are not alone. (I found this site long ago from a reader @ Eschaton.)

benoit balz said...

Are people's hair on fire here, or what? Paranoiacs who read this blog might want to get their google fingers going on this one...

Maybe US sponsorship of Islamic terror groups - even those operating with "fashionable" tactics is a good idea? Am I hearing this here?

gopolganger said...

I'd comment on the Marijuana story, but that might be, like, just encouraging the uncool.

Suffice it to say, bra, that the crew who did that crap in the news...right on the freakin' radio - a big steaming mound of lie in your face to shame and suppress you into knuckling under to the Moral Majority who thrive by jailing you and threatening you with jail if you attempt to exercise any kind of Constitutional rights like the frickin' pursuit of flippin' happiness, bra. [pause for long drag] [another, subsequent pause to digest] [sound of long exhale]...what was I sayin'? Oh yeah, that that spew in your news is the Dr. Dobson brigade, or the Stern Father Gestapo wing at NPR quoting the top cops about how smokin' the dope will make you rob houses or have your house robbed by crazed reefer maddened hippies. Damn. There's some moral fibers stinkin' up my hemp.

gopolganger said...

A heads up to the education propaganda soon to flood your NPR. Look at MSNBC's privatization propaganda. Right away, the 100% (of whatever did whatever) says "FRAUD!" and "INNUMERACY!" Any investigative journos left out there to uncover the fraud here, because it's stinkin' like a scared skunk on steroids.

Anonymous said...

WHYY is fleecing the rubes and one of the things they touted yesterday was the coverage of the mortgage meltdown. I e-mailed and asked if this analysis started after the meltdown had already occured?

And they actually admitted that "some people" don't think they are all that as WHYY claims to be.

Every time this wholly owned Fox subsidary (WHYY 90.9) misses its targetted goal I send them a congratulatory e-mail and add that I consider their failure a small victory.


biG!pinK!fuzzY!bunnY! said...

Way-go, Ellen - you rebel-rouser you~

A hata' of Gross Air is a pal o' mine.

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...


Looks like The NPR Ombudsman "hearts" Juan Ensalada. Of course, NPR denies payola!

Please feel free to post comments under her post, because I am certain this is the LAST time she will EVER answer an email from a subversive who reads NPRCheck!


gopolganger said...

Ensalada is correct about one thing: It didn't look good to have the sponsorship banner on the same web page as the series.

Chalk one up for Juan!

Definition of ombudman: a government official appointed to receive and investigate complaints made by individuals against abuses or capricious acts of public officials.

Substitute "defends against" for "investigates" and you have Shepard's definition.

Mytwords said...

Fantastic JET! I've bumped this Q Tips up so that everyone can pay a visit to the Ombot's page at NPR. A link to her page is also on the right sidebar of this blog.

Steve B said...

Nice Juan!

Alicia Shepard as Ombudsman at NPR is a mockery of a sham.

WarOnWarOff said...

Good on you, Juan! Alicia's brain is a-squirming like a toad.

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...


Speaking of firewalls and cross-checking, do you suppose that, in the future, the Ombudsbot will check listener email addresses against the "disavowed" list for the NPR Blog? After all, Juan Ensalada's profile was scrubbed from NPR some time ago.


Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...


Please find my original email message below.


Message Information:

Message #: 5607-10021725

Date Created: 9/24/2009 1:58 PM EDT

Subject: Natural Gas Series


NPR Ombudsman,

The Natural Gas Series NPR ran this week sounded VERY one-sided -- pro natural gas. There was little mention of any of the downside during parts 1-3 and when Mr. Gjelten appeared on The Diane Rehm Show.

On that Show, Mr. Gjelten mentions that he and NPR are new to this issue. He mentioned that NPR first heard about it a couple of months back.

Today, I see underwriting spots on the NPR website from the American Natural Gas Alliance, whose mission is to lobby for the natural gas industry in order to boost demand.

Clearly, this looks like a MAJOR conflict of interest -- that NPR took underwriting money to influence journalism.

Thus, I have the following questions:

1. What is the relationship with the ANGA and NPR underwriting?

2. How much money did the ANGA donate to NPR for sponsorship.

3. When did the ANGA pay NPR?

4. For how long is the ANGA underwriting buy?

5. How did the NPR news desk find out about this natural gas issue?

6. When did the NPR news desk find out about natural gas issue?

7. Why are Tom Gjelten and Peter Overby, both who have no energy reporting experience, covering this natural gas series? Gjelten does national security and Overby does money and politics.

8. Why is the coverage of natural gas so fundamentally unbalanced on NPR? In other words, why is it so pro-industry?


Juan Ensalada



Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...

Ken Rudin wins Atrios' "Wanker of the Day" award.

Anonymous said...

Comment on Eschaton post regarding Ken Rudin award: "NPR is an old friend with Alzheimer's who is now peeing on the living room carpet."

Anonymous said...

Ken Rudin states that Columbus "discovered America".

Typical NPR mind-set.


Anonymous said...

I forgot to add:

Good work Juan!

RepubLiecan said...

Ken Rudin was awarded Wanker of the Day because of what he said on TOTN which was reported on and commented on by Steven Benen on his Washington Monthly Political Animal Blog. If you read the comments left there, you might think you were reading the comments here on NPR Check.

It's encouraging to note how many are seeing NPR for exactly what it is, Now Promoting Republicans, and the support it is losing in the process.

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...



...which is why I posted the NPRCheck Blog link into the comments area of Eschaton and Political Animal.

Misery loves company!



I guess NPR's worried about the White House's push back at FOX News (they might be next?), Ken Rudin says that Obama pointing out what liars FOX News is, makes Obma just like Nixon.

The Washington Monthly has the details and a nice take down on the idiocy from NPR's "Political Editor".

More proof there's no Right Wing talking point, no matter how baseless or ridiculous, NPR won't repeat.


Dang, needed to scroll down be fore I posted,

Good Job! JT!

My favorite part of the (not an)Ombudsman response"That mention (of environmental issues) covered two minutes out of 24 devoted to the series on-air."

So the pro-industry side sgets an 11:1 advantage, yep sound right for a typical NPR pro-industry, pro-corporate, GOP approved story.

gopolganger said...

NPR is an old friend with Alzheimer's who is now peeing on the living room carpet

Alternatively, NPR is a pair thugs who've been paid to collect on an illicit debt and have broken into your apartment by mistake (they think you're the other Lebowski) and so they're trying to intimidate you by cramming your head into the toilet and peeing on your rug...which rug really tied the room together.


Here's something that JT won't beat to: Yesterday, Juan William was on the FOX local affiliated (where if it bleeds it leads all day) defending Lord Rupert.

I thought he might be on the local NPR talk show, but no, he was picking up a check from our local troglodyte Right Wing think tank, the National Center for Policy Analysis.(I appoligize to all troglodytes for the comparison.)

Juan was his best "FOX New Negro" self doing his his "I'm a fake liberal so you Wingers can trust me routine" did you know Obama is Un-American?

I suspect FOX may be a bit worried that their free ride is over.

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...


Would you believe that one of my dogs is named "The Dude"? No kidding!


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

"Misery loves company!"

Ohhh, as long as the more unsavory 'atrios-ities' don't stink the place up with their potty-mouths.


Anonymous said...

I love the reasoning:

Don't blame NPR. It's the "computer" wot done it!

"Our ad server [a computer] makes the second-to-second decisions on what banner to show on a given page view," said Bryan Moffett, Director of Digital Sponsorship Operations. ...the ad server is making these decisions every second."

Maybe Congress should hire the "Ad server", given it's talent for making quick decisions that have no relevance to anything.

I'm quite sure the first decision the Mr Ad server would make as the "Congressional Decider" (TM) would be to pull the plug on NPR.

Really, can the excuses from Alicia Shepard and Co get any more lame?

These folks at NPR obviously think their listeners/readers are all as stupid as they are.

By the way, I thought Shepard's gig as Ombotswoman was already up.

Anonymous said...

NPR is an old friend with Alzheimer's who is now peeing on the living room carpet"

That assumes NPR has no control over what they are doing which could not be further from the truth.

The NPR announcers/reporters may be nitwits, but the management at NPR know exactly what they are doing.

They are (Neo)conmen.

Anonymous said...

By the way, the claim that the ads are generated essentially randomly by computer each time you visit a page is total BS.

I visited the story JET commented on many times and the natural gas ad came up EVERY time.

The chance of that happening purely by chance is vanishingly small.

Like I said, the folks at NPR think we are all idiots.

And they are exceedingly dishonest.

The entire operation should be shut down by Congress.

Anonymous said...

Ken Rudin "apologized" on his Boring Political Junk blog. He spoke "too soon" and he actually has people praising him for his willingness to admit a "mistake". How can you make a mistake regarding an opinion but not apologize (or delete) an out-right lie such as Columbus "discovered America.

It's all there in its' NPR/Fox glory on his "Political Junkie" blog.


Anonymous said...

Is this supposed to make those who have lost their jobs and/or their homes better?

What kind of a-hole would come up with such a completely tasteless title?

Think You're Depressed Now? Revisit 1929

Anonymous said...

PharmaNet is offering WHYY (A wholly owned Fox subsidary) 10k if they raise 50k from the rubes. Lot of angst about reaching goal because PharmaNet won't give up the cash unless the 50k goal is met. Who is kidding whom here? Does anyone really believe that a group that is owned by venture capitalists is NOT going to give up the money? That's what they do in order to pacify the professional/management class that big Pharma is your friend.


Anonymous said...

Planet Money had a discussion today about the economic behavior of monkeys! I need say no more.


Anonymous said...

Ken Rudin "apologized" on his Boring Political Junk blog. He spoke "too soon" [when he said Columbus discovered America]

I agree. He should at least have waited until he finished the fifth grade.

NPR: More quackers than a box of Ritz.

Anonymous said...

Here's Rudin on air:

Well, it's not only aggressive, it's almost Nixonesque. I mean, you think of what Nixon and Agnew did with their enemies list and their attacks on the media; certainly Vice President Agnew's constant denunciation of the media. Of course, then it was a conservative president denouncing a liberal media, and of course, a lot of good liberals said, 'Oh, that's ridiculous. That's an infringement on the freedom of press.' And now you see a lot of liberals almost kind of applauding what the White House is doing to Fox News, which I think is distressing.

Here's his apology:

But comparing the tactics of the Nixon administration -- which bugged and intimidated and harrassed journalists -- to that of the Obama administration was foolish, facile, ridiculous and, ultimately, embarrassing to me. I should have known better and, in fact, I do know better. I was around during the Nixon years. I am fully cognizant of what they did and attempted to do.

He does "know better" but my bet is he does feel like his original statement but is merely working on damage control now that he knows people are comparing him to Palin.


Anonymous said...

Planet Money had a discussion today about the economic behavior of monkeys!

I wonder if they learned anything (the Monkeys, not the monkeys)

Just when you think NPR has set the bar as low as it will go, you realize they just keep digging the hole deeper.

Anonymous said...

Ya know, I thought Kevin Klose was pathetic, but Vivian Schiller makes him look like a journalistic genius by comparison.

NPR these days is simply embarrassing and Schiller has helped make it that way.

I actually feel sorry for any real journalist who might still work there.

Anonymous said...

Good to see some "Checkers" on Rudin's Rather Boring Political Junk blog!


Anonymous said...

At least Rudin made a decent apology.

Anonymous said...


But why apologize for an "opinion"?


Anonymous said...


I understand what you mean. My point was that he makes a direct apology for a direct statement; unlike the Ombudsbot who dress it up with subterfuge.

-madchen vapid

Anonymous said...


I understand what you mean. My point was that he makes a direct apology for a direct statement; unlike the Ombudsbot who dresses it up with subterfuge.

-madchen vapid

Anonymous said...

At least Rudin made a decent apology."

is that what journalism has come to, apologizing and making everything OK?

Obviously, it's best for one's own credibility to apologize when one has been proved wrong, but real journalism (even Opinion jouirnalism) is about more than that -- or at least it used to be.

"Journalists" these days seem to beleive that they can get everything completely wrong (Saddam's WMD, anyone?) but as long as their reports are "balanced" and they apologize when proven to be full of it, they are in the clear.

Anonymous said...


I understand what you mean. My point was that he makes a direct apology for a direct statement; unlike the Ombudsbot who dresses it up with subterfuge.

I'll agree with that but still . . . I don't apologize for me opinions and refuse to acknowledge a statement that is demonstrably untrue as Rudin does with his asine Colubus statement.


Anonymous said...

Anon and edk,

I am not trying to conflate this apology with something bigger. Please review my many critical comments on the NPR blog that deal specifically with each story.

In my opinion, a direct apology for a statement (opinion or not), especially when someone is demonstrably wrong is better than a half-hearted one that attempts to (a) confuse and defend or (b) no response or acknowledgement at all.

Clearly, it is better to never have made the mistake. Clearly it is better to have done good journalism up front. Clearly, it is better for journalists not to opine, especially when there is little factual basis for their opinions. As the saying goes, opinions are like a**holes.

In my opinion, his apology, as compared to others I have read from other NPR sources seemed (arguably) better. That was the basis for my opinion about his apology.

That WE can disagree about all of this is fine by me. THAT we should feel compelled to defend opinions that can be supported is a slightly different issue. To that point, I agree with edk.

-madchen vapid

larry, dfh said...

Rudin apologized for getting caught, plain and simple. He showed himself as the karl-rove-memo-reading stooge that he really is, and apologized that the jig is now up. He presented himself as part of the whiny, soft-skinned, sensitive right, and now he wants to take it all back. (see Greenwald for the takedown, as no one else can)


Hey guys, just notice the timing of this.

On October 18th Karl Rove on FOX in defending his employer smears the Obama White House claiming it's like the Nixon White House.

On October 21 Ken Rudin on NPR, recites the same baseless smear verbatim, considence?

Not likely. FOX sets the agenda NPR/Rudin gleefully recites the talking points.

miranda said...

Did anyone else hear the priceless Rehm show argument about the (boo-hoo) "victimization" of Fox between Foxite Byron York and the justifiably exasperated David Corn? Rehm acted like a schoolmarm, breaking up the fight by saying "That's enough!" Fun.


It's Friday. NPR Checkateers you know what that means?

Another defense of NPR by the NPR(not an)Ombudsman, today it's Ken Rudin's apology for channeling Karl Rove.

Shorter Ms. Shepard: "Ken said he's sorry so every thing's OK."

Here's my two cents:

I wish I could get paid six figures to recite FOX talking points on the radio, even when I know they're:

"foolish, facile, ridiculous and, ultimately embarrassing to me," wrote Rudin. "I should have known better and, in fact, I do know better"

I would call that a tortured-oops, "aggressively interrogated" apology.

Just another NPR GOP stenographer getting caught when they speak their mind.

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...


Nice work on the NPR Ombot's site.


Saw some of your comments around the web. Nice you see you spreading the word about NPRCheck blog.


Grimblebee said...

This is a bit of a side topic, but today I was listening to WNYC in New York, which was having the last day of their pledge drive.

I've heard a lot of creative -- and sometimes questionable -- tactics for raising money over the air on NPR affiliates -- and as a professional fund-raiser, I can appreciate the challenges.

But what I heard today was a 5-minutes segment in which Ira Glass of This American Life interviewed someone who had been "turned in" by a friend as a listener who had never made a pledge.

Now, I don't know if this was a setup and/or fictional interview, but I found the entire premise extremely unsettling. Using guilt is a time-honored tactic, but shaming someone on the air, and encouraging people to snitch on their non-philanthropic "friends"?

Yuck. Anyone else hear this and/or feel the way I do about it?

gopolganger said...

I'll step up and give some praise to Melissa Block for her New Foods story. Despite her over-bubbly school girl ebullience, food is an important issue and it's nice that local food is being promoted, even if no mention was made of the alternative Walmart style "fresh strawberries from China." Of course, the story steered clear of the conflict with Whole Foods.

Also, it would be nice if they'd follow the food chain further back to the sources, such as Cargill.

Anonymous said...


"But what I heard today was a 5-minutes segment in which Ira Glass of This American Life interviewed someone who had been "turned in" by a friend as a listener who had never made a pledge."

WHYY (Philly 90.9) had that same schtick on last (or maybe two funders ago) funder but he "nabbed" someone from listening area (Pa. NJ Del). Did Ira nab someone from your listening area? Bet he did.


WHYY (wholly owned Fox subsidary) failed to meet its' goal so they got a three hour tour today because they think all of Simon's devoted listeners will help out. I have already sent them another (6 straight no goal met funders) sympathy e-mail with the compulsary "WHYY is too far right to get any money from me".


Grimblebee said...

edk, I don't remember them saying where the person was from. I wouldn't be surprised if it was the same taped schtick.

I normally listen (and sometimes donate) to WAMC Northeast Public Radio. As affiliates go, it's palatable -- prides itself on being "progressive" though steadily moving toward a very one-note Obamist version of same. Since I'm no fan of Obama's, I'm losing interest fast.

But it does have a very successful model of a funder. Basically all the locals take over the radio for a week until they've gotten all the money they need. They manage to create the illusion at least of a "community."

Anonymous said...

"Of course, the story steered clear of the conflict with Whole Foods.

Also, it would be nice if they'd follow the food chain further back to the sources, such as Cargill."

This (the following) is simply my opinion and I can't "prove" it.

I also enjoyed the story about the supermarket and all the positive things they have or have tried to do but . . .

First, I mentioned elsewhere that more and more "stories" on NPR seem to be commercials disguised as news. This is pretty commonplace in newspapers. Interviews with authors, record makers, film makers are a different category I think.

Second: Your comment started me thinking about how the "media" seems to work. NPR fed us a "feel good" story (during a "news" show) and spent considerable time on it. But your comment about Cargill started me thinking. Would they ever spend as much time on frankenfood, mono-agricultural practices, and ethics of food exploitation by countries (mostly but not all Western)?

A lot of listeners heard the store story and maybe even had a "drive-way moment". But some of us think a bit deeper than the "average" listener and that is what the media is designed to do - stop deeper thinking.

The first response to my calling Rudin about the Columbus thing was I should just stop listening if I didn't like what I was hearing (a listener who "lives for NPR" - I google the names of all these people cause I think some are plants) and I should just go away. And Rudin said I sounded like a guy that just never had any "fun".

In other words, "You are thinking way to deeply about things and we (listeners) don't. We accept at face value that the surface is all there is ( we think about as deeply as urine on a rock) and when you dig deeper you bring us down because we don't want to hear it."

The staff,management, and coporate/government funders know exactly that's how it is supposed to work. Keep 'em pacified with pointless crap, inane stories and shoddy reporting. There will be enough pigeons to send money and if not? Well, the Ministry of Truth or The Ministry of Security will make up the difference.

I could be wrong but I don't think I am.