Monday, November 16, 2009

Q Tips


NPR related comments welcomed.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm not a lawyer, but it seems that the ANGA "promo" used in conjction with the NPR series on natural gas may violate the CPB Charter (see below), notwithstanding the claims of Alicia Shepard to the contrary.

I think Congress should look into this and I have asked my Congressman to do just that.

Subpart D --Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Sec. 396. [47 U.S.C. 396] Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Sec. 399b. [47 U.S.C. 399b] Offering of certain services, facilities, or products by public broadcast station
(a) “Advertisement” defined

For purposes of this section, the term “advertisement” means any message or other programming material which is broadcast or otherwise transmitted in exchange for any remuneration, and which is intended--
(1) to promote any service, facility, or product offered by any person who is engaged in such offering for profit;
(2) to express the views of any person with respect to any matter of public importance or interest;
or
(3) to support or oppose any candidate for political office.
(b) Offering of services, facilities, or products permitted; advertisements prohibited
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), each public broadcast station shall be authorized to engage in the offering of services, facilities, or products in exchange for remuneration.
(2) No public broadcast station may make its facilities available to any person for the broadcasting of any advertisement.

Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

After listening to that glib, festering slug Cokie Roberts, I am beginning to think that the phrase "independent voter" is becoming a euphemism for "white" people who won't probably not vote for Obama again...

gopolganger said...

Pirate Cat Radio is a nice alternative to NPR. I can't tell you how nice it is for me to hear "Fuck the FCC" broadcast over the air waves.

Anonymous said...

Lieane Hansen did a crappy piece on Sunday morning on Hawaiian self-determination, forcing it into the three-part series on race.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120431126

I left the following comments.


Another instance of sub-standard journalism which has become all too common on NPR.

Including a piece on Hawaiian self-determination in a three-part series on race frames it in an inaccurate, inflammatory and uninformative way. Framing it in terms of race is a canard. There is no Hawaiian race. It would have been helpful to clarify the difference between race and an indigenous ethnic group, which the Hawaiians are. If you wanted to do a piece on racism in Hawaii, you should have done so separately from the sovereignty issue. Conflating the two issues is reprehensible.

"HANSEN: In a moment, we're going to speak with a white Hawaiian who calls state-sponsored preferences for native Hawaiians reverse discrimination. How do you respond to those who say that whites or Caucasians are subject to racism in Hawaii?"
Dear Ms. Hansen: Your two sentences go far in confusing the issue: the discrimination perceived by your guest in the state-sponsored preferences may or may not be based on race (in this case, if it did exist, it would be based on ethnicity.) And whites of Caucasians can be subject to racism in Hawaii independent of the state-sponsored preferences. Your question implie state-sponsored preferences are a result of racism.


The first guest, Mr. Osorio, believes in self-determination for Hawaiians. He does so on the basis of ethnicity. He does not bring up race unless Ms. Hansen brings it up. The second guest, Mr. Conklin, opposes self-determination for Hawaiians. He does so on the basis of race and that it is thusly racial reverse discrimination.

Again, framing Hawaiian sovereignty as a race issue automatically endorses Mr. Conklin's view.

It is true, as Mr. Conklin says, that "there is no historical or legal or moral basis for supporting race-based political sovereignty for ethnic Hawaiians". That is because there is no Hawaiian race. If you google "Hawaiian race", you get almost all sports results. The exceptions are an article in National Review and another publication which mischaracterize HR 505 (know as the Akaka bill) as race based. A search of the bill's text reveals ZERO uses of the word race.
http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=N2U5MGEwNDQxZDNmZjg1OGI5NzBkMjU3NzI5ZDc1ZGQ=
http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/41020
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h110-505

Again, Ms. Hansen: you framing this as a race issue automatically discounts Mr. Osorio's view. Shame on you.


Ms. Hansen says:
"maybe it's not just a matter of race."
And Mr. Conkling responds:
"Well, it is a matter of race."
And then proceeds to create a false analogy with African-Americans.

Is that what they taught you in journalism school Ms. Hansen? When you suggest "maybe it's not just a matter of race" you accept the answer "it is a matter of race" without challenge or follow-up? That you allow the guest to create false analogies and straw men? Would it have been too difficult to ask Mr. Conklin to talk directly about the Hawaiian issue? And how exactly is what is happening in Hawaii apartheid?

Could you not find enough issues that are actually race-based that you had to shoehorn the Hawaiian sovereignty issue into your series and thus pick a side in the debate?

Anonymous said...

I find this NPR piece interesting "Ordinary Chinese Wait For Obama's Deeds, Not Words"

It may be just an accident (probably is), but the title (and gist) of the piece could be readily (and accurately) replaced with
"Ordinary Americans Wait For Obama's Deeds, Not Words"

It makes me wonder: is it possible that Anthony Kuhn is giving a double message by subverting NPR's censorship policy?

If that is the case, it is brilliant.

Actually, even if that was not the intention, it is brilliant -- and rich with irony.

Metro99 said...

In NYC the non-wingnut has two radio listening options:

(1) NPR on WNYC or
(2) Pacifica on WBAI

The hushed, whispering, almost asthmatic intonations of NPR's talking heads get very tiresome very quickly. I can't help but admire the slick, smooth, glossy professionalism of the station, but the Montebello-esque cultural elitism, coupled with the polite and tasteful bloodlust for foreign wars, is a distinct turnoff.

Pacifica on the other hand presents a different set of problems. While its heart is in the right place, its programming and delivery (with some notable exceptions) are painfully inept.

I understand that WBAI needs to raise funds since it accepts no commercial sponsorship; but ONE MONTH non-stop? That seemed a bit much. And now there's another, separate fundraiser for the Pacifica Radio Archive. Yes, you too can own NINETY hours of CD recordings for the low-low contribution of $200! Seriously? After I just coughed-up $50 for the regular fund raiser?

So every morning as I prepare breakfast and every evening as I prepare dinner I'm frantically switching back and forth between NPR and Pacifica becoming increasingly agitated and cursing under my breath wondering why one can't have a hybrid station. Think of it as the radio version of REESE'S Peanut Butter Cups.

Thank you for listening to my rant.

gopolganger said...

Remember last August when Kestenbaum came out with this little gem?
Should We Pity The Insurance Companies? "You'd think it would be in the insurance companies' interest to get rid of the needless spending." Just which needless spending does he refer to, one wonders. The lobbying at a cost of $1M to $2M per day? The 33% overhead? Gosh, I wonder why he didn't bring up those costs? Only costs incurred by doctors and hospitals.

larry, dfh said...

I heard several references on npr today and yesterday about mommography and breast-self-examination as being wastes of time. Is this the insurance industry trying to cut procedures?
But on the good side, I heard a wonderful smackdown of george will today by Geof Nunberg following terror gross's pretty funny interview w/ Sasha Baron Cohen. This was probably the best take-down of conservatoid talking heads I've heard on npr in years. But then again, atc had a fawning interview with the author of palin's 'biography'. And tomorow is an interview with scalia's biographer on Radio waste-of-Times; oh boy, something to look forward to!

Anonymous said...

It is certainly interesting for me to read this blog. Thanks for it. I like such topics and everything that is connected to this matter. I definitely want to read more soon.

GRUMPY DEMO said...

Today, Wednesday's Morning Edition:

My favorite "FOX" at NPR, Mara Liasome doe the mandatory Beltway Courtesan ring-kiss of The Palin.

She gave that standard NPR laudartory wet-kiss of a half-term Governor and failed VP candidate, with a documented career as a serial liar.

Typically Mara ignores the numerous lies in Palin's book or that NPR's own David Brooks assessment that The Palin is a "clown".

Mara's keeps doing her best to keep DC an accountability free zone for the Right since she got her FOX New gig.

Loved that the 5 people quoted were all Right Wingers, "Fair and Balanced" at it's finest.

Nice way to celebrate her eleventh year as a FOX New employee:

http://www.foxnews.com/bios/talent/mara-liasson

I'm sure Rupert will put something extra in her Christmas bonus this year.

GRUMPY DEMO said...

Since I'm on my favorite Hobby Horse, FOX and my second cup of high caffeine coffee is kicking in:

What the heck's happened to Juan Williams?

http://www.npr.org/search/index.php?searchinput=%22juan+williams%22&dateId=0&prgId=0&topicId=0

He hasn't been on since November 4th, when he almost gave an accurate analysis of the elections (said it wasn't about Obama).

I'd like to think the "Kara Train" [(tm) Le Show Harry Shearer] finally ran over him.

Or maybe that now that he's become such a joke, he included in a SNL skitt about FOX:

http://www.politico.com/blogs/michaelcalderone/1109/SNL_spoofs_Foxs_election_coverage.html

But, I suspect he's just gotten too busy picking up speaking fees tell whites that it's not racist be a Birther.

GRUMPY DEMO said...

Oops "Kara Train"?

Should be "Karma Train".

I get hit by the "Spelling Train" all the time, followed by the "Grammar Train".

Maurerguy said...

Just sent this to WAMU, the NPR station in DC.

Your report yesterday on mentoring was unfortunate, in that you basically fell for the pitch of a very experienced political person, Robert Woodson.

The piece gave the impression that there was something brand new and unique about the idea of mentoring by community members. In fact, this idea certainly goes back to the first community action agencies of the 1960s, and probably much earlier. Maybe Hull House. Big Sisters/Brothers has "community-based mentoring" according to a quick web search. How is that different from what Woodson describes?

Your reporter should have been aware that Woodson is not primarily a social service provider. He is a very political person, perhaps best described as the conservative Jesse Jackson, and he has been for decades. This does not devalue his programs -- he has done, or at least been associated with, some good work. But it does mean his claims deserve examination. For example, to just uncritically repeat his crack that the Obama administration is not open to his program is to fall into a trap. What did he do to contact the Administration? Wouldn't the fact that he is a partisan conservative have a legitimate impact on how his ideas are received? And again, if there is nothing new in his ideas, why would the Administration respond eagerly?

I am not saying you should not report on Woodson's activities, or that you should trash them, just that you should understand them in context. All corporate media, including NPR, are far too quick to 1) believe every social program is "new" when it's not, and 2) to repeat conservative talking points when they are framed in some esoteric authority (quoting Scripture is another example).

It's pretty basic. Check out who your source is before you present what he said in glowing and credulous terms.

Anonymous said...

This is just hilarious:


"Medicare And Medicaid Dominate 'Improper Payments' By Feds"(By Julie Rovner)

According to Rovner: "As usual, more than half the improper spending--$54.2 billion--was traced to problems with Medicare and Medicaid."
///////

As usual, NPR's reporters overlook the obvious: TARP fraud, Afghanistan fraud, Iraq fraud, and on and on "

How many hundreds of billions disappeared down the TARP and Afghanistan holes last year? (and the year before that? {and the year before that?...})

NPR won't tell you (or even admit that it happened), that is for certain.

More of the same "control the debate" form NPR. If you carefully control what people are allowed to 'debate" then they never learn about all the other things outside that "debate."

That piece by Rovner is as clear a piece of propaganda as i think I have ever seen on NPR.

It's not even clever in trying to present "Fox balance" .

Anonymous said...

Obama and Biden exploit the same "control the debate" technique, as demonstrated with Biden's statement:

"here are the facts... Had we not bailed out the largest bank institutions in the world there would have been a flat depression, a flat-out depression."

of course, that conveniently ignores the suggestion (eg, by economist and bank fraud expert William Black) that the troubled banks be put into "receivership" in order to get them back on their feet again.

Indeed, as Black notes, the Prompt Corrective Action Law actually mandates such receivership, so Geithner et al actually violated the law in ignoring it.

By the way, this is NPR related because NPR has been playing the same "control the debate" game on the bank bailout. They have presented it as a "debate' between those who (purportedly) said "do nothing. just allow the banks to go under' and the heroes who said "We can't do that. it will lead to great Depression II. We need to "recapitalize" the banks so that they can start lending again and get credit and the economy moving"

The heroes were wrong about the lending, of course. But hey, the bank CEO's who got us into the mess are still in charge (and making record bonuses (which "receivership" would certainly have changed), so in that regard, I guess Biden (and NPR) are right.

Anonymous said...

maurerguy says "It's pretty basic. Check out who your source is before you present what he said in glowing and credulous terms."

Check sources? NPR???

I think you are asking for a bit much from NPR.

That would be real journalism.

besides it would not fit NPR's missionary (position) motto: "Always on top."

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...

The Aging Audience, by Walrus Research.

David Green said...

http://mondoweiss.net/2009/11/npr-doesnt-need-to-quote-palestinians-because-their-view-is-predictable.html

‘NPR’ doesn’t need to quote Palestinians because their view is ‘predictable’

Great extended comment by Susie Kneedler

Nate Bowman said...

Dina Temple-Raston had a piece on ME about Khalid Sheik Mohammed's time in the US. As usual, bad journalism and a pre-determined story line driving the narrative.

I left the following comments.

I like to wait for the transcript in order to be fair (because the article often leaves out important details), but I couldn't.

"MOHAMMED ARRIVED HOPING his time at Chowan would become a springboard to an American education."
"After just a semester at Chowan, MOHAMMED THOUGHT his English was good enough to move on."
"AS MUCH AS HE TRIED, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed COULDN'T WALL HIMSELF off from America completely."

PLEASE tell us the sources that helped you get so far into Mr. Mohammed's head at the time that you were able to make these statements with such authority. Otherwise, it's just speculation. And bad journalism.

Would it have been too much to ask Dr. Garth Faile how proficient Mr. Mohammed actually was in the English language (since you state that he wasn't)? I guess Dr. Faile gets a pass on that one. Dr. Garth brooks all kinds of inanity.


And you present this man (Dr. Faile):
"Aside from remembering where he sat, Faile says there was nothing that stood out about Mohammed — though he did earn one of one highest grades in the class."
as being able to get into Mr. Mohammed's head?

"How could someone who seemed so ordinary become the man who allegedly planned the Sept. 11 attacks?"
This is ridiculous. There can be a million reasons (including, he actually was not ordinary inside and that any transformation that happened had nothing to do with his time in the US). The above statement is pure speculation, sensational and self-servingly justifies the story.

The resulting piece sounds like some NPR editor said "The 9/11 mastermind went to college in the US. Dina baby, hop in the car and go find anybody who remembers him and make some kind of story connecting his time in the US with what he has done (allegedly). And do this before somebody beats us to it."


"When he wasn't in class, Mohammed appeared to spend his college years in a kind of self-imposed isolation...He and the other Middle Eastern students rented several apartments and turned one into a mosque."

Ms. Temple-Raston:
1. Isolation is when one is alone. When you are in a group separate from others, that is segregation. Painting Mr. Mohammed's situation as isolation needlessly paints it as abnormal and invokes pictures of someone getting ready to go postal.

2. It would have been good if you had been able to imagine Mr. Mohammed's situation in reverse:
a. Imagine you are going to school in a foreign country.
b. You may or may not speak the new language well.
c. You are religious.
d. You welcome help with your schoolwork in the new language.
e. You are in your second semester and you have just transferred from a school which mandated you studyanother religion extensively (as you put it).
Would it not be natural gravitate toward living with people of the same religion and language? Is there something really that outlandish about that? Have you ever heard of sororities and fraternities or off-campus houses where people with similar interests choose to reside together?
f. Living with your countrymen and religion-mates facilitates you ability to practice your religion. (it would have also been good to know how close to campus or residence the closest mosque was at the time in order to understand the need for a mosque.)

3. Nothing you quote Mr. Zitawi saying indicates that Mr. Mohammed limited his exposure while in the US exclusively to school and the group residence. Please let us know how you reached such a conclusion with such confidence.

Nate Bowman said...

My comments on Dina Temple-Raston's piece continued:

"... what did Khalid Sheikh Mohammed draw from his time in America?"

You certainly have included nothing in this report which would help us answer that question, including:
"a recently released CIA report claims "Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's limited and negative experiences in the United States — including a short stay in jail — almost certainly helped propel him on his path to become a terrorist."
which is pure speculation. Maybe someone could have spoken with Mr. Mohammed about it instead of waterboarding him.

"But the truth is, it seems that Mohammed never really experienced America."
How exactly do you know this? You have told us things he did, but have not accounted either for all of his time or for his impressions at the time.

" He kept himself apart and then found what he wanted to find."
Again, speculation for which you offer no evidence.

"And it appeared Mohammed couldn't get out of America fast enough. He finished his engineering degree in two-and-a-half years."
You do realize, don't you Ms. Temple-Raston, that he was here from a foreign country to earn a degree. And you don't tell us if he made any trips home. Wouldn't you be eager to go home and see family, etc? Why inject nefariousness?

" He finished his engineering degree in two-and-a-half years.

Then he went Afghanistan — where he joined the mujahedeen."

This is despicable and reprehensible. By leaving this hanging at the end of the piece, you intimate that there was a connection between the two. As Grumpy Demo earlier pointed out, the mujahedeen were fighting a proxy war against the US's mortal enemy in the cold war at the time. In that way, Mr. Mohammed was (if anything) an ally of the United States in that fight. And helping to keep Russia bogged down in their own Viet Nam

And since the US financed and supplied the mujahedeen, would it not have been germane to ask if that had any connection with Mr. Mohammed's supposed transformation?

miranda said...

Nate Bowman: Thank you for this. I can't bear to hear any more of NPR's on-air kangaroo trials. Why try these suspects at all, since NPR knows what kind of people they are and what they're capable of. God help them all.

Anonymous said...

NPR’ doesn’t need to quote Palestinians because their view is ‘predictable’

Kinda like I don't need to listen to NPR, because their propaganda is ‘predictable’

for example, without listening

I could tell you what NPR will say about "single payer" within the next month: nothing.

or what they will say about the control fraud by the banks that led to the financial meltdown: nothing.

or what they will say about just how it is that banks like Goldman Sachs have made record profits over the past year when the rest of the economy has been in the toilet: nothing (other than to say that "they are just very good at what they do"

or what they will say about Bush administration torture of prisoners within the next ten years: nothing.

Or what they will say about Ralph Nader's campaign in 2012 should he decide to run again: nothing.

or what they will say about civilians killed in Pakistan or Afghanistan: nothing.

or what they will say about any number of other things.

Maine Owl said...

PLEASE just bludgeon me to DEATH: Parking Garages: A Multilevel History

gopolganger said...

PLEASE just bludgeon me to DEATH: Parking Garages: A Multilevel History

Maybe this is part of a new multi-part series. Remember how April Fulton was going to many segments illuminating the health care debate in folksy ways (whatever happened to that unhatched egg-dead plan?) or those clowns talking about privatizing education (which is, of course, a good thing to be striven for against all odds.)

Next in the series, The History of Airport Urinals. The Traditional Practice of Waiting in the Turn Lane, The Secret Story of Golfing While not at Work...can't wait.

Nate Bowman said...

Daniel Zwerdling did a completely distorted take on Nadal Hasan's bad academic review. There was a lot to criticize.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120540125#commentBlock

PLEASE READ THE MEMO BEFORE COMMENTING

Let's start at the end, shall we?

After all the complaints, Scott Moran, the writer says "In spite of all of this, I am not able to say he is not competent to graduate nor do I think a period of academic probation now at the end of his training will be beneficial."

So what Mr. Hasan did was not enough to keep him from graduating or going on probation but it is enough for some commenters to think it was the precursor to a killing spree and should have had him kicked out of the Army. At best, it shows that the armed forces, (just like with lowering high school graduation requirements and exempting criminal convictions in order to meet recruitment quotas) are lowering their standards.

And, regarding the idea that he "got wind" of the evaluation and freaked, Mr. Moran says: "I did discuss this memo with CPT Hasan and informed him I would be adding it to his initial credentialing paperwork."


Mr. Zwerdling says:
"Two years ago, a top psychiatrist at Walter Reed Army Medical Center was so concerned about what he saw as Nidal Hasan's incompetence and reckless behavior that he put those concerns in writing."

Wow! What a scoop!

We better start watching out for all employees receiving negative performance reviews at law firms, hospitals, investment firms, military contractors, etc. They must ALL be sleepers waiting for an opportunity to perform terrorist acts. [sic]


Mr. Zwerdling says:
"Officials at Walter Reed sent that memo to Fort Hood...

Nevertheless, commanders still assigned Hasan — accused of killing 13 people in a mass shooting at Fort Hood on Nov. 5 — to work with some of the Army's most troubled and vulnerable soldiers."

Again, Mr. Hasan was competent to graduate. Why does Mr. Zwerdling who wants to transform a critique of professionalism into something "damning" and a clear lead-up to Mr. Hasan's actions at Fort Hood.

Great narrative structure, too, Mr. Zwerdling. If it is necessary to include the "accused of..." part, it belongs in the first paragraph. Inserting it where you did connects what the commanders did to Mr. Hasan's alleged crime. It is disingenuous at best. Purposely misleading, probably.


Mr. Zwerdling says:
"When shown the memo, two leading psychiatrists said it was so damning, it might have sunk Hasan's career if he had applied for a job outside the Army."

But that's just the point, isn't it. This IS the Army. The same army that has been lowering eligibility requirements for enlisting for years now in order to reach quotas.

And the same Army that has been raked over the coals for not giving enough support to returning troops (and therefore needs all the help it can get.)

And the same Army that almost never gets rid of officers (as other commenters have witnessed.)

Is it too much to ask Mr. Zwerdling to find out how the ARMY works rather than getting two civilian armchair Monday morning quarterbacks? And I don't mean Pentagon spokesmen. Could you not have tracked down some other current or retired Army psychiatrists?

Ms. Broder runs a project whose very existence intimates that members of the armed forces do not receive enough psychological care. And Mr. Scharfstein was Vice President and then President of the American Psychological Association during the years that the APA was allowing its members to monitor torture sessions.

Nate Bowman said...

Part 2

Mr. Zwerdling:

Can the titles and subheads be any more inflammatory?

Hasan's Supervisor Warned Army In '07

The Damning Memo

Warning Signs

Alerting Fort Hood


One would be forgiven if, when skimming the article and not reading the memo. for coming away with the impression that this memo was a smoking gun.



And to complete the circle, you close with:

"But sources say that when the Army sent Hasan to Fort Hood earlier this year, Walter Reed sent the damning evaluation there, too. So commanders at Fort Hood would know exactly what they were getting."

The evaluation was not damning. Your characterization of the comments of two civilian psychiatrists is where damning is introduced. That is YOUR word. And what they were getting, according to the memo, was an academic slacker who should still be allowed to graduate.



Could you be any further away from journalistic principles and ethics, Mr. Zwerdling?


Mr. Zwerdling characterizes the memo as saying:

"Hasan hardly did any work: He saw only 30 patients in 38 weeks. Sources at Walter Reed say most psychiatrists see at least 10 times that many patients."
You are aware, Mr. Zwerdling, are you not, that this review was of Mr. Hasan when he was a psychiatrist IN TRAINING. And that the workload of someone in training (which includes didactics and consultations with supervising psychiatrists will be much lighter than a full-time psychiatrist who has finished his training. It would have been helpful if you had compared apples to apples by finding out what the patient load of a trainee is. As it happens, and as the memo notes and you conveniently left out, Mr. Hasan "was required to make this missed clinic time up using his elective" and thus satisfied his requirement, so it is a moot point.



I also find it odd that you use his lack of clinic time here to damn him when in another piece you (and Frank James) say that Mr. Hasan's later preoccupation with research minimized his clinic time and thus Mr. Hasan could not have experienced PTSD himself as a result of counseling troops.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2009/11/nidal_hasan_had_light_patient.html


Mr. Zwerdling characterizes the memo as saying:

"When Hasan was supposed to be on call for emergencies, he didn't even answer the phone."


The memo actually says "he missed a night of call for MGMC ER and then did not respond to numerous pages by my office the next day"


1. As far as I know, a night of call means the professional has to be on site. When he does not show up, someone else takes his place. What it does NOT mean, is that the emergencies go unanswered.

2. They were not phone calls, they were PAGES.

3. The pages occurred THE NEXT DAY



By the way, I assume that MGMC ER is the Malcolm Grow Medical Center Emergency Room at Andrews Air Force Base.

Great job of distortion in one sentence Mr. Zwerdling!

Nate Bowman said...

Part 3

By the way, Dr. Sharfstein (sorry for the misspelling earlier) doesn't run "Sheppard Pratt's psychiatric medical center, based just outside Baltimore".



According to his bio at Sheppard Pratt he is listed as President and Chief Executive Officer of Sheppard Pratt Health System, a series of medical centers and clinics throughout Maryland. Apparently he is in management and therefore has had limited (if any) exposure to patients. I assume this goes back to the mid-nineties when he began to hold several posts at the APA.



I wonder what Mr. Zwerdling has to say about that.

In the piece, Mr. Zwerdling says:

"Picture a soldier who....needs a psychiatrist they can trust. Instead they get a therapist like Nadal Hasan who sometimes didn't show up, and abandoned his patients." And leads Dr. Broder into saying that this behavior could trigger PTSD.



The memo list one instance of Mr. Hasan not showing up and zero of abandoning his patients.


The only thing that's been abandoned here is journalistic principles and ethics.



"When Hasan's supervisors read him the riot act "YOU BETTER SHAPE UP OR ELSE" when they gave him intensive supervision, then he would improve just enough that they had to tell their commanders "Hasan is capable of doing better." But psychiatrists say, who has time to supervise a doctor like that? [in a condescending tone]"



Do you really consider this journalism Mr. Zwerdling? The only thing missing is an image of a wagging finger when reading the riot act and upturned palms with the condescending tone. And nice editing between the on-air piece and the on-line piece.



Shame on you.


By the way, was it really necessary to grant anonymity to absolutely everybody in the piece except Drs. Sharfstein and Broder?

I would have liked some more information on how NPR "obtained" the memo, even if the actual source could not be named.

Your sources on reading between the lines of the memo had no reason to remain secret.

Ditto for how many patients a psychiatrist sees.



Considering how many facts Mr. Zwerdling has distorted and outright gotten wrong when they are based on a memo we have access too, I have the sense that the distortion of the information from the unnamed sources is even greater.

Nate Bowman said...

Sorry, lost some formatting in the copy and paste.
Repost of Zwerdling part 1

Daniel Zwerdling did a completely distorted take on Nadal Hasan's bad academic review. There was a lot to criticize.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120540125#commentBlock

PLEASE READ THE MEMO BEFORE COMMENTING


Let's start at the end, shall we?



After all the complaints, Scott Moran, the writer says "In spite of all of this, I am not able to say he is not competent to graduate nor do I think a period of academic probation now at the end of his training will be beneficial."



So what Mr. Hasan did was not enough to keep him from graduating or going on probation but it is enough for some commenters to think it was the precursor to a killing spree and should have had him kicked out of the Army. At best, it shows that the armed forces, (just like with lowering high school graduation requirements and exempting criminal convictions in order to meet recruitment quotas) are lowering their standards.



And, regarding the idea that he "got wind" of the evaluation and freaked, Mr. Moran says: "I did discuss this memo with CPT Hasan and informed him I would be adding it to his initial credentialing paperwork."


Mr. Zwerdling says:

"Two years ago, a top psychiatrist at Walter Reed Army Medical Center was so concerned about what he saw as Nidal Hasan's incompetence and reckless behavior that he put those concerns in writing."



Wow! What a scoop!



We better start watching out for all employees receiving negative performance reviews at law firms, hospitals, investment firms, military contractors, etc. They must ALL be sleepers waiting for an opportunity to perform terrorist acts. [sic]




Mr. Zwerdling says:
"Officials at Walter Reed sent that memo to Fort Hood...

Nevertheless, commanders still assigned Hasan — accused of killing 13 people in a mass shooting at Fort Hood on Nov. 5 — to work with some of the Army's most troubled and vulnerable soldiers."



Again, Mr. Hasan was competent to graduate. Why does Mr. Zwerdling who wants to transform a critique of professionalism into something "damning" and a clear lead-up to Mr. Hasan's actions at Fort Hood.


Great narrative structure, too, Mr. Zwerdling. If it is necessary to include the "accused of..." part, it belongs in the first paragraph. Inserting it where you did connects what the commanders did to Mr. Hasan's alleged crime. It is disingenuous at best. Purposely misleading, probably.


Mr. Zwerdling says:
"

When shown the memo, two leading psychiatrists said it was so damning, it might have sunk Hasan's career if he had applied for a job outside the Army."



But that's just the point, isn't it. This IS the Army. The same army that has been lowering eligibility requirements for enlisting for years now in order to reach quotas.


And the same Army that has been raked over the coals for not giving enough support to returning troops (and therefore needs all the help it can get.)


And the same Army that almost never gets rid of officers (as other commenters have witnessed.)



Is it too much to ask Mr. Zwerdling to find out how the ARMY works rather than getting two civilian armchair Monday morning quarterbacks? And I don't mean Pentagon spokesmen. Could you not have tracked down some other current or retired Army psychiatrists?



Ms. Broder runs a project whose very existence intimates that members of the armed forces do not receive enough psychological care. And Mr. Scharfstein was Vice President and then President of the American Psychological Association during the years that the APA was allowing its members to monitor torture sessions.

Anonymous said...

"A few hours ago, a top analyst at "NPR Check", Nate Bowman, was so concerned about what he saw as Daniel Zwerdling's incompetence and reckless behavior that he put those concerns in writing."

 [see above]

a.m. said...

Mara Liasson, doing what she does best this morning (11/19): transmitting raw GOP talking points and paranoia--this time about mammograms and health care--in a skewed opinion piece gussied up as a news story.

GRUMPY DEMO said...

This Thrusday morning on Morning Edition, Mara Liasome goes full "deather" (Is it because black if more slimming?):

I didn't even have to have my second cup of coffee to go from zero to full rant in 20 seconds:

Nice so see Mara now a "deather" promoting the false smear the health care reform will kill you. Yesterday Mara gives Palin a nice wet kiss. If you work for FOX you have report like FOX.

Mara follows standard the FOX News template:

1) Introduce the piece by framing it with GOP/Right Wing dishonest talking points.
2) Sting together a series of GOP pols quotes reciting their misrepresentations.
3) NO NOT interview or quote anyone from the other side or cite facts that disprove the distortion (oh, like 44 million uninsured HAVE NO ACCESS to healthcare therefore can't get mammograms).
4) Interview an Obama offical restate the GOP talking points, because their true.
5) Provide no opinion to counter the GOP talking points.
6) Conclude the story reciting the talking point again.

That’s the way they do it a FOX! Right Mara?

Again, 44 million Americans already suffer from health care rationing; it's called no cash no care. Maybe if NPR hadn't black listed the recent Harvard Study, , Mara might know that 44,000 Americans die each year from lack of health care (you know Mara, RATIONING?)

Another typical pro-GOP commercial by a FOX News employee.

madchen said...

Speaking of rationing, I have nightmares about how public radio places Mara Mammogram stories. Are Goopers getting enough care on NPR?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of incompetent.

This piece on the TARP Inspector general's report that was just released completely underplays the issue.

New York Fed Criticized For Not Forcing Haircuts

The failure by Geithner's as head of the the NY Fed at the time to issue "haircuts" to the AIG counter-parties (Goldman Sachs and others), who as a result got 100 cents on every dollar (at taxpayer expense) is only one aspect of the SIGTARP inspector General's report and not even the most damning part:

"Questions have been raised as to whether the Federal Reserve intentionally structured the AIG counterparty payments to benefit AIG’s counterparties — in other words that the AIG assistance was in effect a “backdoor bailout” of AIG’s counterparties. Then-FRBNY President Geithner and FRBNY’s general counsel deny that this was a relevant consideration for the AIG transactions. Irrespective of their stated intent, however, there is no question that the effect of FRBNY’s decisions — indeed, the very design of the federal assistance to AIG — was that tens of billions of dollars of Government money was funneled inexorably and directly to AIG’s counterparties." -- SIGTARP report

In the report, TARP IG also addresses efforts by Fed (Geithner and others) to essentially "hide" the details of the AIG bailout from the public (eg, the names of the AIG counterparties) by saying that "whenever Government funds are deployed in a crisis to support markets or institutions, should be that the public is entitled to know what is being done with Government funds."

TARP IG also said:
"Second, the now familiar argument from Government officials about the dire consequences of basic transparency, as advocated by the Federal Reserve in connection with Maiden Lane III, once again simply does not withstand scrutiny. Federal Reserve officials initially refused to disclose the identities of the counterparties or the details of the payments, warning that disclosure of the names would undermine AIG’s stability, the privacy and business interests of the counterparties, and the stability of the markets. After public and Congressional pressure, AIG disclosed the identities. Notwithstanding the Federal Reserve’s warnings, the sky did not fall;" -- TARP report

Translation: "you guys had no justification for trying to hide this stuff from the public in this case."

Though NPR has completely played down this whole thing (true to form, they ignore "controversial" issues that do not fit their "business plan"), some members of Congress (rep Defazio) have called for Geithner's head:

Rep. DeFazio: Fire 'Timmy' Geithner (Sam Stein)

"Asked specifically whether Geithner should stay in his job, DeFazio replied: "No.

"Especially if you look back at the AIG scandal," he said, "and Goldman and others who got their bets paid off in full...with taxpayer money through AIG. We channeled the money through them. Geithner would not answer my question when I said, 'Were those naked credit default swaps by Goldman or were they a counterparty?' He would not answer that question."

DeFazio said that there is a growing consensus among the Congressional Progressive Caucus that Geithner needs to be removed."

//end quote

Stay tuned. NPR can only ignore this story so long before it becomes "inconvenient" for them to continue to do so.

Then, as usual they will jump in and claim, "look we covered it. See this blog post?"

Anonymous said...

By the way, the manner in which Caitlin Kenney "summarizes" the gist TARP Inspector general report referred to above is misleading.

By

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has come under fire after a report released by the special inspector general for the TARP, Neil Barofsky, found they made "limited efforts" to convince AIG's counterparties to take losses."

If you actually read the report, you will see that the "limited' efforts were pretty much non-existent and the NYFED was essentially taken to the cleaners by the TARP IG for making no efforts to enforce haircuts (But I guess no efforts is "limited", in a very unlimited way)

I don't know about anyone else, but I simply do not buy that these kinds of misleading characterizations by NPR are an accident.

biggerbox said...

Anyone else who had problems with Dina Temple-Raston's highly "selective" report on Holder's appearance before the Senate committee is encouraged to read my comments on the piece at the Morning Edition website.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120562886

biggerbox said...

Also 'special' about the Temple-Raston piece was the intro, which included it in a set of stories about "terrorism", including the Ft. Hood shootings. Last I looked, it wasn't clear whether Ft. Hood was an actual act of terrorism or just your run-of-the-mill workplace shooting rampage. Was the shooter attempting to influence national policy through spreading fear among the civilian populace, or did he really just "go postal", as they say? I guess at NPR they know: he was a Terrorist, and his motivations therefore give us insight in Terrorism.

Nationalistic Propaganda Radio?

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Propaganda sticks best when it is applied liberally. "

That i especially true when you are trying to control the debate within very narrow bounds to the exclusion of other possibilities (as on health care in which NPR - -and Obama -- rarely even mentions Single payer, or if they do, mention it dismissively).

if you repeat two or just a few possibilities enough times (and never even mention the others), the public eventually begin to just assume that there ARE only two (or a few) possibilities.

NPR and our leaders play this game all the time: they just LOVE to do it in the case of the bank bailouts: "If we had done nothing and simply let the banks fail as some suggested, we would now be in great Depression II".

They repeat this matra endlessly until people actually start to believe it.

on the bailout, NPR completely excluded the views of people like bank fraud expert William Black who was saying from day 1 that what should be done (by law) is to put the banks into receivership so that the government could carefully control just how the bailout money was spent (ie, NOT on bonuses but for lending). As Black points out, receivership is NOT nationalization (as some love to claim) and is actually mandated by a law (Prompt Corrective Action LAW) put in place after the S&L fraud.

By completely excluding people like Black from the "debate' and repeating the false "bailout the banks or let them fail" dichotomy, NPR, Obama and others stear the 'debate" where they want it to go.

Just this past week, biden was making the very argument above that "had we (He and Obama) not done what we did, we would be facing another great Depression". not if we had pursused the approach William Black was advocating we wouldn't. had we done so, our economy would be in much better shape than it is now because the government could have REQUIRED THAT the banks placed in receivership increase lending to small businesses, which would almost certainly have grown the economy and reduced unemployment.

Incidentally, the idea that the bank bailouts somehow "saved" the economy is a complete red herring because the banks actually DECREASED lending after the bailouts. How is it that this "saved the economy"?

larry, dfh said...

And IIRC, wasn't Barofsky actively prevented from releasing his report?

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...

NPR Daniel Nerdling story from ATC was repeated on ME today. If you want to try someone in the press, you have to make sure to repeat the "news" over and over again. Propaganda sticks best when it is applied liberally. That God NPR is so "liberal," right?

Anonymous said...

I bet NPR will never put
This graph, (from Inner Workings) on their website, which shows the precipitous DROP (by 20%) in "commercial and industrial" loans by commercial banks over the past year.

NPR Planet Monkeys: "But, but the bank bailout saved the economy".

Tell me another funny one.

burg!purk!furzzy!burnny! (bernie?) said...

Yes, pity it 'tis about Danny Z - he was one of the few well-regarded 'round here up 'til now. Listening to his headline (only!) segments gives me cause to detect a little bit of that Temple-Rastin' Jellicle Cat lilt for sensationalism's sake. Must've been a recently circulated addendum to the "NPR Proper Locution Manual, ver. 2009.5"

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...

NPR Daniel Nerdling story from ATC was repeated on ME today. If you want to try someone in the press, you have to make sure to repeat the "news" over and over again. Propaganda sticks best when it is applied liberally. THANK God NPR is so "liberal," right?

Anonymous said...

Alicia Shepard is honest and right about one thing: NPR is a mainstream news outlet.

And they are playing that role perfectly.

Which means you will never hear a story like this (Economic Crisis Is Getting Bloody -- Violent Deaths Are Now Following Evictions, Foreclosures and Job Losses) on NPR if for no other reason than that NPR believes the "Recession is over" (break out the champagne).

My suggestion to anyone who is thinking of contributing to NPR:

Instead think about donatin gto a local food bank. In fact, take the money down to them. You will probably learn more about what is really going on in this country from the visit than you will learn from listening to 1000 years of NPR "news".