Thursday, November 12, 2009

Q Tips

NPR related comments welcomed.


jaytingle said...

Renee's bribery report makes a coincidental appearance the day after Blackwater is found out. It's only bribery; you know how Arabs are.

Anonymous said...

This report is rubbish:

Look at who is questioning the spending on research:

"Philip Levy, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute, isn't convinced. "I think it's very fair to say that this was not the best use of the money," he says.

That pretty well answers any questions in my mind about the NPR report.

AEI is a rightwing crackpot organization.

larry, dfh said...

Well, well, well, another of Terror Gross's favorite guests gets
busted. Never heard a clue about this creep's background from the loyal hostess. Just like PTSD was totally absent from the 'discussion' before the sacking of Iraq. npr claims to be sooo 'in-depth', but they're really just expert at filling large time blocks with emptiness and disinformation. I guess this is what is taught in the various ivy leaague management schools from which npr gets it's 'talent'.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting to compare Glenn Greenwald's take on the revelatuions about Peter Galbraith's oil interests to the take of NPR's Mark Memmott.

The titles say it all.

See if you can you guess which title goes with which "journalist" (I use the term very loosely in the case of NPR reporter Mark Memmott)

Title 1: The sleazy advocacy of a leading "liberal hawk"

Title 2: American Adviser Galbraith Sees No Conflict In Kurdish Oil Deals

Memmott's report is a typical NPR "excuse for one of our experts" dressed up to look like "balance".

Galbraith is not the only one who looks sleazy in this case.

NPR "Always on the money" (whoever happens to be handing it out)

Anonymous said...

Given his role as UN Ambassador to Afghanistan and his "business ventures" related to Iraqi oil, you really gotta wonder what role Galbraith might be playing in the plans to build oil and gas pipelines across Afghanistan.

Remember what John J. Maresca, VP International Relations for UNOCAL (oil company) testified to Congress way back in 1998:

"It's [pipeline] not going to be built until there is a single Afghan government. That's the simple answer."

As with Iraq, keep your eye on the oil.

Bill the Cat said...

Hotel story on NPR:

Hotel Building Boom Focuses On Boutique Brands.

Actual hotel data from CalculatedRisk Blog:

Hotel RevPAR off 11.8 Percent.

Should we expect to see some advertising for "Hyatt, Marriott and Starwood" hotels on NPR soon?

Stay tuned!

Anonymous said...

Massive Media FAIL: Female Cop Did NOT Bring Down Fort Hood Killer

Most news outlets for days labeled Munley "the" (singular) Fort Hood hero. It wasn't until two days ago that Sgt.Todd got feature billing, although in a secondary role. Now, in the past day, he is finally getting his due as the original account begins to fall away.

What else will turn out false about Fort Hood claims from military, e.g. the "Allahu Akbar" shouts?"

//end quote

What else indeed?

NPR got the hero story on Ft hood wrong.

Eg, this report by NPR's Jeff Brady does not even mention Sgt Todd, who actually ended the rampage.

Instead, NPR merely parrots the official talking points like everyone else in the MSM.

Like his boss Vivian Schiller, Brady is an idiot and would not even HAVE a job in any real news organization.

NPR seems to employ all the journalism rejects: people who were not smart enough to get real journalism jobs.

bbb!ppp!fff!bbb! said...

I must beg to differ with calling these schmucks "Always on the money" which is usually a metaphor for "accurate" or "copacetic."

'Always On the John' would seem more apt (use it in any connotation you like here)~


PS: and yes, when I began hearing the 'Ballad of the Female Soldier Who Stopped a Massacre' (from network McNews, not listener-supported McNews), it was too awful reminiscent of the Legend of Jennifer Lynch.

miranda said...

I'm at the point of believing almost nothing that's being reported about the Ft. Hood incident; the supposed "Allahu Akbar" shouts are the most obvious clue to how the story is being spun. What happened to the other gunmen of the initial reports? Guess everything was "corrected," though the Jessica Lynchian cop story fell apart rather quickly.

NPR's coverage has been awful - after enduring a lengthy ATC feature about the accused gunman's supposed history of personal and professional badness(really?), I can't listen to any more.

Anonymous said...

On the Money can mean multiple things.

In NPR's case, "Always on the money" is to be read as "always reporting what their corporate donors (or boners) tell them to report" as in "National Prostitution Radio"..

Anonymous said...

I wonder, is this what people donate money to NPR for?

From NPR's Morning Edition

"Sammy Sosa's Skin Tone Raises Questions"

Former Chicago Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa showed up at the Latin Grammy awards last week, looking much paler than usual. Speculation flew that he had bleached his skin or was suffering from a medical condition.

I wonder how many l$50 listener donations it took to pay for tjhat piece of speculative manure.

What an embarrassment it must be for any real journalist at NPR.

then again, if they were a real journalist, they would not BE at NPR so i guess there's no problem there.

NPR = National Puff Radio

Bill the Cat said...

Adumb Davidson, of Planet Monkey Fame, tells us about US consumer spending and unemployment, forgetting to mention why. It's about our attitudes (not about the housing bubble). So much for context, right?

Dean Baker gives NPR the Pulitzer for stupid reporting.

Anonymous said...

If the sheer wrongness of what can only be termed "wild speculation" on the Ft Hood killings that has come out of NPR over the past days is any indication, I'd say that anything they say now should be taken with a 100 pound block of salt.

But I think NPR's Daniel Zwerdling has actually managed to take it to a new low by quoting "un-named sources" (channeling Judy Miller, as it were) who are saying Hasan was psychotic (ya think?) and that

"Both fellow students and faculty [again, unnamed (to protect the nonexistent?)] were deeply troubled by Hasan's behavior — which they variously called disconnected, aloof, paranoid, belligerent, and schizoid. The officials say he antagonized some students and faculty by espousing what they perceived to be extremist Islamic views. His supervisors at Walter Reed had even reprimanded him for telling at least one patient that "Islam can save your soul."

Followed by yet MORE speculation...

"Participants in the spring meeting and in subsequent conversations about Hasan reportedly included John Bradley, chief of psychiatry at Walter Reed;"

end of NPR bullish*t
(not really the end, but that's all I intend to quote)

Anonymous said...

"Dean Baker gives NPR the Pulitzer for stupid reporting."

Wouldn't that be the Pukelitzer?

Anonymous said...

"Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke somehow couldn't see a housing bubble over the years 2002-2006 even as it grew to $8 trillion, threatening the U.S. and world economy. But, NPR goes them one better. It still hasn't noticed the housing bubble." -- Dean Baker

My theory is that this is because Adumb Davidson, David Kestenbaum and the other Planet Monkeys are living in a housing bubble, hermetically sealed from Reality. And it's a special kind of "one way" bubble: you can hear them (unfortunately) but they can't hear or see the outside world.

Anonymous said...

Off topic, I know (and besides, NPR rarely covers anything positive on Ralph Nader), but...

the idea of Ralph Nader challenging (and, hopefully beating) Chris Dodd in the fall Senate race brings tears of joy to my eyes.

For his role in repealing Glass Steagall, Dodd has been a disaster for the middle class in this country.

I would vote for Nader over Dodd in a heart beat.

Then again, I'm ready to vote for pretty much anyone over Dodd in a heartbeat.

"Will Nader challenge Dodd?

Could Ralph Nader reprise his spoiler role at the expense of Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.)?

Bill the Cat said...

NPR cries uncle by crediting MM? Did Hell just freeze over?

Anonymous said...

"Most telling was a comment on the CJR piece that raises an interesting question. How can you claim to represent people who do not officially belong to your organization?" -- Alicia "See no torture, speak no torture" Shepard

Kinda like "How can NPR claim to represent millions of people who do not officially belong to their organization?" (ie, who do not donate to NPR or its member stations)

from Alicia Shepard's bio page at NPR:

"In this role [ombot], Shepard serves as the public's representative,"

and this

"The Ombudsman is the public's representative to NPR,"

Anonymous said...

The whole idea that NPR (National Public Radio) somehow "represents' the "American public" is absurd.

First, in a society that is as heterogeneous as American society, the mere claim of "representative' of the public loses almost all its meaning.

Unless NPR devoted itself tirelessly to airing every single individual in the United States on every issue imaginable, such a claim of "representative of the public" is basically vacuous.

But NPR does not even come close to the latter. In fact, the vast majority of the time they simply report what the think tank wankers say and claim these quacks represent the public at large. What a joke.

Second, for an organization that claims to be a "news' organization to simultaneously claim they "represent the public' is even more absurd.

Some things are just the way they are (objective reality) whether some individual or group (think tank) wants them to be that way or not.

Reporting news is NOT about balancing a spectrum of viewpoints on this that and the other. Whether 1000 or 1,000,000 civilians died in Iraq is NOT a matter of "point of view".

Most laughable of all is the fact NPR calls itself "representative" of the public when the organization and its management are almost entirely comprised of upper and upper middle class yuppie white folks.

and for Alicia Shepard to claim she is "the public's representative to NPR," is the ultimate irony when she is appointed by NPR management and listeners do not even have any say in whether she stays or goes (to say nothing of whether she got the job to begin with).

How absurd is THAT?

it is just my opinion (which is worth nothing, of course ) but I view NPR's use of "public" in their name as an actual fraud upon that public.

That the NPR organization has come up with their dishonest funding scheme whereby they charge their member stations for programming and thereby avoid Congressional oversight only makes the fraud worse.


Bill the Cat said...

The Star Chamber (of Commerce).

Anonymous said...

I find the claim by Shepard to be "the public's representative to NPR," nothing short of revolting.

The complete lack of ethics (journalistic or otherwise) shown by Shepard's role in the Gary Webb case shows beyond any reasonable doubt that Shepard represents NOTHING of my values and ethical code (and probably nothing of the values and ethical code of most of the American public).

She obviously serves at the pleasure of NPR CEO vivian Schiller, which reflects poorly on the ethics of Schiller as well.

Anonymous said...

I don't know whether this is "old news" that I am just catching up with, but I was astounded this morning to hear both Steve Inskeep and Dina Temple-Raston refer to the fact that, as Inskeep put it [at about 03:32], some of the evidence against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed ". . . would appear to have been obtained by torture". On her third reference to the use of torture in interrogating detainees, Temple-Raston backed off slightly, saying [at about 03:55] ". . . subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques, or torture". Has NPR changed its policies (or have they merely been practices?), which Alicia Shepard has been so vociferously -- and so lamely -- defending? Or has the Government merely decided that it now has its legal ducks in a row, so it's OK with unnamed senior Government officials for their stenographers at NPR to use that term?

Bill the Cat said...

The "New" NPR: Now with Torture!

Bill the Cat said...

"So that makes him slightly different than some of these other detainees who have been tortured, who maybe only admitted to something after they were subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques, or torture."

It seems to me, after listening to and reading the transcript that the fact that she says "or" means that "torture" is NOT synonymous with "enhanced interrogation technique."

Also, isn't convenient that NOW that this issue is related to the current administration agreeing to bring these people to justice in the U.S. that NPR can finally say the "T" word?

5 instances of the "T" word in a single story! George Carlin would be proud!

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...

NPR's Planet Monkey exhibit. Tragically hip. Price Disparities Common In Health Care System


Planet (Worship the)Money, on ATC this Friday PM was another embarrassment with its report "Price Disparities Common In Health Care System by David Kestenbaum and Chana Joffe-Walt"
the stupid just hurt too much.

I posted the following comment:
"I don't think NPR has ever packed more stupid into any single story, here's just a sample:

No. 1: There is no "rule" that the same goods have to have the same price. This is not taught in ANY economics or business class. If you reporters weren't apparent economic illiterates and had attended at least one economics class they would have known that price is a function of supply and demand. In fact, this proves this imaginary NPR "Rule" is nonsense.

No. 2 The reporters compare prices of canned pasta and announce that a price of $1.00 is pretty close to a price of $1.09. NO IT'S NOT. There's a 9% difference in price, which is a significant difference (Would your reporters take 9% less in pay because its "pretty close"?) Less than a minute into the report, and the "Rule" doesn't work.

No.3 Most hospital are not businesses, they are non-profits, so contrary to your reporter's contention, their goal is to serve the public not achieve maximum profits.

No.4 Why does no one on Planet Money have the foggiest grasp of the concept in "inelastic demand"? Which proves that comparing health care to canned pasta is bogus.

No.5 Why does Planet (worship the)Money ALWAYS frame health economics terms of Right Wing Freeper world view? On Planet Money (and NPR) there is absolutely no moral component to health care. Where seems to explain you reporter be perplexed as to why an emergency room can't turn anyone away.

Please, please find someone at that understands basic math, I've given up on any hope of you finding someone that understands economics.

Doesn't NPR have editors?

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...


That Planet Monkey story might be worse than the one where NPR hired a food blogger to compare healthcare to airline tickets.


Anonymous said...

Grumpy Demo says "Please, please find someone at that understands basic math, I've given up on any hope of you finding someone that understands economics."

But Grumps, the Planet Monkey's have David "Haaavid physics PhD" Kestenbaum, who surely understands basic math (shirley).

Then again maybe he's one of those mathematicians who is into "string theory", which is a mathematical theory in search of a physical universe to which it applies.

miranda said...

Brilliant takedown, Grumpy.

gopolganger said...

Then again maybe he's one of those mathematicians who is into "string theory", which is a mathematical theory in search of a physical universe to which it applies.

I don't think so. Kestenbaum is too two-dimensional to work his way out of a paper bag, whereas string theory requires at least 11 dimensions, last time I counted.

Cokey might find it interesting that David K. has friended Alicia Sheperd on facebook (where she has 985 friends) and she has friended him back. He's got only 8 friends...more than I do, at least. And at least Kestenbaum knows he's an idiot, but has he no shame? I mean to know you're an idiot and go in front of the public and be an idiot that way over and over again? At least Liane Hansen probably thinks she's a pretty clever and humble person who compensates for her shyness by going on radio once a week and reading the script in a way she probably thinks (and all her friends tell her) is nice and folksy. But Kestenbaum seems to know he's spouting utter idiocy, and he takes the money and does it anyway.

gopolganger said...

Wait, I didn't understand the facebook friend listing thingy. You can reload Kestenbaum's page and it shows you 8 different friends each time. I got Ken Rudin on the third try! It must be a quiet village.

Anonymous said...

David K. has friended Alicia Sheperd on facebook (where she has 985 friends)

Sounds like a circle jerk to me.

Or a circle of jerks, take your pick.

Anonymous said...

string theory requires at least 11 dimensions,"

yes, but supposedly (if we are to believe the string theorists), all the dimensions except the 3 space dimensions we actually experience are rolled up into a tiny little ball too small to see (convenient no?), which i think is a perfect metaphor for the collective economic knowledge of Kestenbaum and the rest of the Planet Monkeys.

Perhaps some day we will have methods of detecting these nano-bits of knowledge, but for now they are merely lost in the noise of chattering monkeys.

widdle!bwack!8-ball! said...

Ooh! Ooh! Can I be too kewl and 'fwiend' David Kest-embalm & his buddy-buddy Rapunzel too! Let me try! My turn, my turn!!

Grimblebee said...

Anon: Yes, it makes total sense that "torture" would enter the lexicon -- they do have their ducks in a row -- KSM will be framed up and executed and not a single peep will be raised about the fact that his "confession" was tortured out of him. It's all good now. Mark my words.

Good points, all, about Ft. Hood. I hadn't seen until reading it here that the female-cop-hero was just another fiction, but I'm not surprised. The official story stinks to high heaven, and it's being exploited rabidly to attack American muslims and others from the "Axis of Evil" -- such as those Iranian groups and their buildings.

Another (?) Anon: Nader in CT (where I live too)? For once I get off the bandwagon here. I love Ralph and voted for him in 08, but he's really wasting his time and energy at this point. He should go back to being and advocate and activist.

gopolganger said...

KSM will be framed up and executed and not a single peep will be raised about the fact that his "confession" was tortured out of him.

Here's a chilling interview with Larry Johnson that took place 3/3/3:
We're turning not to capture this weekend of reputed Al Qaeda operative and 911 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammad in Pakistan. US officials hope his arrest will lead to even more arrests, maybe even the capture of Ossama Bin Laden. Some information has reportedly been obtained from ducuments and computers seized in his apartment where he was staying in Raul Pindi, but much will depend on the information Mohammad will provide them under interrogation. So what is the nature of this questioning, and how much information might come from it, and how reliable is this information? Larry Johnson is the deputy director of the office of counterterrorism at the State Department, he's also worked at the CIA and he's now a CEO of Berg Associates inf Ft Lauderdale in FL. Welcome to TOTN.

What's a realistic estimate for how much information that can be obtained in interrogation from someone like KSM?

LJ: I think we're maybe exaggerating the value of it or the benefit from it. I think maybe 30% of it may be effective and stuff we'll want to act on. But no matter what he says, you've got to be able to go out and corroborate it and that means going out and finding another human source that can verify it. [] The bottom line lesson is that anybody can be broken and you don't have to use torture. I don't think the Hollywood version of sticking snakes down people's throats or pulling out fingernails or hooking him up to batteries - that's not effective. What you want to do ultimately is build up rapport. And with this guy, you know, you can use sleep deprivation. Until new mothers who have to stay up with their infant babies will tell you it's illegal for them to be kept up, I don't see how you can give guys who've been involved in terrorism the right to have 8 hours of sleep a night. When you do sleep deprivation combined with having to stand up in place and not getting great food - getting decent food, but just, you know, enough to keep you alive. And somewhere you can build rewards in there, saying, "look, if you cooperate, you'll be able to get 6 hours straight of sleep." Or there's some disorienting you can do.

NC: There is some urgency associated with the situation. If, for example, he knows shere OBL is, this is, of course, time urgent, people might be tempted to use other methods.

gopolganger said...

LJ To use torture, and when I talk about torture, I'm talking about using physical violence against someone, they're going to confess to anything. [] KSM was the brains of the operations. He was the one plotting with Ramsey Yusef with the first WTC bombing back in '92. [] You don't want to bring him to the US because then he would be subject to US judicial procedures, you what him where he is subject to US Military Tribunal law. We are in a gray area with this because ideally we'd like to get these people rendered to the US with proper judicial procedures, but right now we're trying to get as much information from this guy about where is other cohorts are, any operations that are in plan, and disrupt those and then worry about the prosecution, like the folks who are down in Guatanamo.

NC: It's nice to hear that, but you know, this skepticism is, you know, we don't know where he is, we don't know what the prodedures are, you know it's all unknown.

LJ: That's true, I don't blame people for being skeptical, but knowing the people that I know, who are involved with this process, these are not guys who are sitting around saying, "oh let's think up new and exotic means of torture," again, interrogation techniques that were used on me, going through CIA training, I wouldn't consider them torture, but they were uncomfortable, sure. I don't like standing in place for 36 hours. I don't like sleep deprivation. I don't like eating rice, it's a very bland diet. But I didn't starve, I didn't get enough sleep, and after a while, you know, I start saying, "I'll cooperate, if you let me lay down and take a nap."

NC: Is there a gray area? Is there a bright line? Does torture start somewhere?

LJ: Torture starts when you are directly inflicting pain upon someone instead of letting nature take it's course. In other words, depriving someone of sleep, we need to have natural sleep cycles in order to be fully function, in order to be healthy, but at the end of the day, if you're trying to get information out of someone, when you deprive them of sleep, their judgment may slip up and they may not be as clear and say things that they might otherwise try to protect. I hear people talk about using drugs, and that brings back some ill-fated CIA experiments back in the fifties and sixties, they're always looking for that magic pill you can give someone to make them tell the truth, and there is no such thing. So I think that at the end of the day we come back to, you know, this guy may be a terrorist and he's admitted to his role in 911, but he's still a human being and you've got to use your understanding of human motivation.

gopolganger said...

BTW, apparently "Berg Associates, LLC" specializes in locating and recovering financial assets:


Anonymous said...

I can not imagine the fear that courses through the veins of NPR staffers and regurgitating voices when they discuss KSM.

Here's a guy that was waterboarded about every 4 hours for a month and at the end of it he gives up nothing - except to ask if he "pleads guilty" will that deter a death sentence. (I think I rememmber the tribunel shutting down after he asked that).

Used as they are to the trappings of the "good life" with pay and fellow travellers's homages directed at them (is Terry Gross the best interviewer in the whole wide world or what? send money!!)?

And here's a guy that is tortured every four hours and comes out and askes if he can die now? Can you imagine the terror that Neil or liAne or MeChelle or Steve-O experience when they think about that. This man strikes terror at them because they have NO standards, nothing they would die for (unless it is a chance to dish with Susan about her sainted grandmother's cranberry-relish) and certainly nothing like speaking truth to anything, much less power.

And they are quite clearly unable to see that statements by Obama and Holder about the inevitable outcome of said Monkey Trial are at least prejudicial and probably grounds for dismissal.

And torture will be overlooked in these trials cause "We promise never, to ever, torture anyone ever again. Unless of course we have to in order to satisfy our string pullers." And the "average" NPR listener will drive off into their cubicles or the sunset (or the unemployment line) thinking that they are not like the "FOX people". And that's the thrust of NPR braodcasting.